According to a Reuters report, a federal jury in New York has found that the technology behind the glasses-free stereoscopic 3D screen used in Nintendo’s 3DS handheld system infringes on a patent held by inventor Seijiro Tomita. Based on the their findings, the jury has recommended that $30.2 million in compensatory damages be paid to Mr. Tomita.
The inventor, and former Sony employee, initially sued Nintendo last year for infringement on a patent he holds for glasses-free 3D. Tomita stated that he had met with Nintendo in 2003 to offer them the opportunity to use his patent. Tomita’s attorney, Joe Diamante, argued that after the company turned down his client, they proceeded to develop the 3DS using the technology that Tomita had developed.
Nintendo conceded that they had met with Tomita about his patent, however, it was only “one of hundreds” of similar meetings that the company held while developing the 3DS. Additionally, Nintendo argued that the 3DS doesn’t use “key aspects” of Tomita’s patent and therefore is not an infringement on his patent.
Mr. Tomita was not present in the courtroom today, however, his attorney gave following statement on his behalf after the ruling was announced:
“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.”
Speaking to Polygon, a spokesperson for Nintendo of America offered the following comment on the jury’s decision:
“A jury awarded $30.2 million in damages to Tomita Technologies in a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Tomita against Nintendo. The Tomita patent did not relate to the 3D games playable on the Nintendo 3DS. The trial was held in U.S. District Court in New York before Judge Jed Rakoff.”
“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.”
Nintendo has not yet announced any plans to appeal the ruling on Tomita’s 3DS patent infringement case.