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Nintendo found liable in 3D patent infringement lawsuit

The company is "confident" that result will be set aside

A United States federal jury has found Nintendo liable for infringement relating to 3D display patent owned by inventor Seijiro Tomita, according to a report by Reuters. The jury awarded Tomita $30.2 million in damages in the case.

"We are thankful to the jurors for their diligence and hard work. It has been a honor to represent Mr. Tomita and to protect his invention," Tomita attorney Joe Diamante told Reuters in a statement.

In opening statements a few weeks ago, Scott Lindvall from Nintendo's legal team argued that Nintendo's 3DS did not use a key aspect of Tomita's patent. A Nintendo representative told Polygon that the company is "confident" that the result will be set aside and not affect shipments of the 3DS.

"The Tomita patent did not relate to the 3D games playable on the Nintendo 3DS. Nintendo is confident that the result will be set aside. The jury's verdict will not impact Nintendo's continued sales in the United States of its highly acclaimed line of video game hardware, software and accessories, including the Nintendo 3DS. Nintendo has a long history of developing innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others," said the company's statement to Polygon.

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Latest comments (9)

Michael Revis Writer, NerdReactor.com3 years ago
Why do I have the distinct feeling that there were shenanigans involved in Tomita's favor?
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Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University3 years ago
Well, if Nintendo ARE guilty of patent infringement, surely this should affect what they put into 3DS? Shouldn't they have to change the technology? Or is it a "small" (versus what was asked for) payout to make the case go away, because the jury decided Tomita is a nice, smart guy and Nintendo can afford to pay out?

Civil juries on cases like this aren't a good idea. Surely it would be better to have a panel of patent experts and technological experts examine the evidence, and then present their findings to a judge to make a ruling, rather than have a jury make the decision?
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Adam Campbell Producer, Hopster3 years ago
Surely it would be better to have a panel of patent experts and technological experts examine the evidence, and then present their findings to a judge to make a ruling, rather than have a jury make the decision?
Yes. I think this is how they should approach things.
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Show all comments (9)
Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.3 years ago
What gets me is the 3D technology and screen all come from Sharp. If anyone violated patents, it's Sharp, not Nintendo.

How can a licensee be sued for patent violation when it was actually violated by the license holder?
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Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University3 years ago
@ Jim

I'm assuming in this case Nintendo designed the screen and then licensed Sharp to make them. I find it difficult to believe Nintendo would have omitted to mention that the screens were designed by Sharp if that were the case.
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Steven Hodgson Programmer, Code in Progress Ltd3 years ago
Has anyone got a link to this patent that it is apparently infringing upon?
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.3 years ago
Daniel, the screens are parallax barrier screens which Sharp designed before Nintendo approached them.

As you can see, Sharp was using the screens as far back as 2003.
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,1386949,00.asp
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John Arnold Video Production 3 years ago
@daniel I find this court case extremely ridiculous, how the hell can a jury make those decisions? These things don't usually bother me because the video games industry is cut and thrust, but this is just so blatant. Nintendo should of taken this court case far more seriously, if they had hired a good lawyer and a few patent experts then this guy probably would have been completely crushed. Until now I never thought that such a smutty man would make an unfair greed out of his own arrogance.

How can someone just sue a company out of unfortunate coincidences? Not to mention that was 11 years ago, how can anyone that mentally deranged assume Nintendo stole from something so vague and distant in the last century period?

Edited 2 times. Last edit by John Arnold on 14th March 2013 6:34pm

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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd3 years ago
This is about 1/10th what the plaintiff was seeking in damages, there is no order to halt sales in Japan, and Nintendo will appeal it anyway. Calm down folks, little to see here.
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