Nintendo Won't Have to Pay $30.2 Million, As 3DS Case Overturned

A judge has overturned a ruling in a former Sony inventor's case against Nintendo.


A federal court has overturned a previous ruling related to a Nintendo 3DS lawsuit brought against Nintendo from a former Sony inventor, meaning the Mario company will not have to pay $30.2 million. In 2013, Nintendo lost a patent lawsuit and was on the hook for the sum. At the time, Nintendo said it was "confident that the result will be set aside," and now that has happened.

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Federal judge Jed Rakoff ruled in New York this week that the 3DS does not infringe a patent on 3D display technology as was claimed by Seijiro Tomita and Tomita Technologies USA, in a case that dates back to 2011.

Here is more from Nintendo's statement:

"Judge Rakoff's ruling follows Nintendo's successful appeal of an earlier verdict, and is the result of a 2015 re-trial. This decision fully reverses and corrects a 2013 verdict against Nintendo. Specifically, Judge Rakoff found that the Nintendo 3DS performs in a significantly different way and does more than was contemplated by the Tomita patent."

Nintendo litigation and compliance director Ajay Singh said in a statement that the company is "very pleased" with the court's findings and mentioned Nintendo's history of defending its products.

"Nintendo has a long history of developing innovative products, and we aggressively defend patent lawsuits when our products do not infringe, even when we must do it over many years and through multiple trials," he said.

In 2013, Tomita's attorneys told jurors that he showed a prototype of his technology to seven Nintendo officials at a 2003 meeting, four of which would go on to assist in the creation of the 3DS. Nintendo argued against this, saying Tomita's 2003 meeting with Nintendo was merely one of many the Mario maker had with merchants selling 3D technology.

The former Sony inventor originally sued Nintendo in 2011, claiming he was entitled to $9.80 for every 3DS sold. By Nintendo's latest count, it has sold almost 58 million systems.

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