Federal Jury Rules That Nintendo Infringed On Inventor's Glasses-Free 3D Patent

A New York federal jury has ruled that Nintendo infringed on inventor Seijiro Tomita's 3D technology with their handheld 3DS, Reuters reports. The jury awarded Mr. Tomita $US30.2 million in compensatory damages. Yow.

From Reuters:

In opening arguments last month, Tomita's attorney, Joe Diamante, told the jury in U.S. District Court in Manhattan that Nintendo used technology that Tomita developed for its 3DS. Tomita is a former longtime Sony Corp employee.

But Scott Lindvall, a defence attorney for the Super Mario Bros franchise creator, argued that the 3DS doesn't use key aspects of Tomita's patent.

Lindvall also said a 2003 meeting with Nintendo officials that Tomita cited in his argument was merely one of several the company held with vendors selling 3-D display technology.

We've reached out to Nintendo for comment and will update if and when we hear back.

(Top photo | /55Laney69/Flickr)


    Eh, that's pocket change to Nintendo. Same with any of the big publishers.

    I don't know the details, but thank God someone was finally able to get past Nintendo's crazy ass legal defence. Makes me feel better that the courts will be able to get to them and Sony/Microsoft about region pricing too. I hate it when big companies are invulnerable.

    I'm sure Nintendo will appeal. And regardless of the result, the loser of the appeal will appeal, and so on and so forth. This lawyers' picnic will probably drag on for another year or so.

    People look for the smallest and most insignificant things to sue someone for if they are a multi-billion dollar company. Some people in this world are just greedy and would do anything for an easy buck.

      That's true.

      But considering that we're talking about the unique selling point of a product that has so far sold nearly 30 million units, I don't think this is one of those cases.

      Given the circumstances, it sounds like Nintendo were the greedy ones here. He showed them his tech, than they release their own infringing on his patents. Sounds to me like they thought they could get away with it.

        It may sound like it. But from what I read elsewhere (was either on IGN or Nintendolife's article about this) this guy's patent is based on achieving the 3d effect in a certain way while the actual screen in the 3ds does it in a complete different way - Nintendo even states that while yes they did meet with the guy they also met with about 20 or 30 other people and companies about different ways to achieve the 3d effect.

    Hmm... will be interesting to see this play out (no doubt there will be appeal after appeal). I can only hope that one way or another justice is done: if this inventor's creation was really taken without credit by Nintendo, then he deserves to get paid. On the other hand, if in the end his claim doesn't have merit he's just wasted everybody's time.

    Compensation is $30.2 million

    Currently Nintendo would have just sold over 30 million units,
    So compensation is pretty much $1 per unit.

    Nintendo got off really light.

      I'm sure the inventor doesn't mind. I sure wouldn't.

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