Lawsuit Against Nintendo Over 3D Technology

A Japanese inventor named Seijiro Tomita is in the process of suing Nintendo for patent infringement, claiming that he was first to invent the 3D screen technology that Nintendo currently uses in their 3DS. The suit was filed back in 2011, against Nintendo and its American unit, and investigations have been ongoing since that time.

Opening arguments were given in the case at the beginning of this week, with Tomita’s lawyer explaining to a Manhattan jury that Nintendo used Tomita’s technology after Tomita showed off a prototype of his technology in 2003 to seven Nintendo officials at a meeting. At this time, he didn’t have a patent yet (the application was pending) and he’d met with them in a search for license partners.

Formerly an employee of Sony Corp., lawyer Joe Diamante says Tomita “felt betrayed and hurt that they were using his technology.”

However, an attorney for Nintendo argued that the 3DS doesn’t use key aspects of Tomita’s technology, and in fact Nintendo had already had four other meetings with groups shopping their 3D technology to the company—including the company which Nintendo ended up choosing to make the 3D display for their handheld.

Presently, Tomita’s patent for his 3D display is valid in the United States (as of 2008) and in Japan. Since the 3DS’s release, he has been having difficulty finding a licensee partner for his technology. Diamante has cited that Tomita is entitled to about $9.80 for each 3DS sold, based on expert damage estimates.

This isn’t Nintendo’s first lawsuit—last year, they were accused of patent infringement by a company in California, over the Wii Fit software and the Wii Balance Board. The suit was dismissed.


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Author: Micah View all posts by
Micah has been playing games since his first pong machine, and has been writing for as long as he could grip a pencil and not drool on the paper. So, for about a week.

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