Nintendo sued over 3DS tech

Former Sony inventor alleges Mario maker infringed on 3D display patent, seeking $9.80 for every 3DS sold.


Nintendo has been sued over its glasses-free 3D technology used in the company's 3DS hardware line. Former longtime Sony inventor Seijiro Tomita alleges that Nintendo infringed on his patent for technology that allows users to view 3D images without glasses, according to a Reuters courtroom report.

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Nintendo attorney Scott Lindvall says the suit is without merit, claiming the 3DS does not use key aspects of Tomita's patent. He further argued Tomita's 2003 meeting with Nintendo was merely one of many the Mario maker had with merchants selling 3D technology.

Tomita originally sued Nintendo in 2011. His legal representation--Joe Diamante--claims his client is entitled to $9.80 for every 3DS sold. As of December 31, Nintendo has sold 29.84 million 3DS units, meaning Tomita stands to earn $292,432,000 if successful in court.

Diamante told jurors at the hearing this week that Tomita showed a prototype of his technology to seven Nintendo officials at the 2003 meeting, four of which would go on to assist in the creation of the 3DS.

"He actually felt betrayed and hurt that they were using his technology," Diamante said.

However, Lindvall retorted, saying Nintendo is constantly meeting with potential vendors. In addition, he said that prior to Tomita's 2003 meeting, Nintendo had already held four discussions with vendors, including Sharp Corp., which would eventually secure the contract.

"Mr. Tomita's meeting was one of hundreds," Lindvall said.

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