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Nintendo must pay $30M due to 3D patent infringement

6:40 PM on 03.13.2013 // Allistair Pinsof

Sony inventor claims Nintendo used his tech in 3DS

Today, a federal jury found Nintendo guilty of infringing on a former Sony employee's glasses-free 3D tech with the release of the 3DS handheld. Nintendo is looking at a payout of $30.2 million in compensatory damages.

Inventor and former Sony employee Seijiro Tomita was awarded the $30.2 million due to his patent for providing 3D images without the need for 3D glasses.

Tomita's lawyer said in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan that Nintendo used Tomita's tech in developing the 3DS. Nintendo's defense attorney argued that the 3DS doesn't use the key features of the patent. The defense attorney also stated that a 2003 meeting between Nintendo and Tomita was only one of many held between vendors selling 3D display technology.

"We are thankful to the jurors for their diligence and hard work," Joe Diamante, Tomita's lawyer, said in an e-mail sent to Reuters. "It has been a honor to represent Mr. Tomita and to protect his invention."

Nintendo replied with a statement given to Polygon: "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."

U.S. jury finds Nintendo liable for patent infringement [Reuters via Polygon]

Allistair Pinsof,
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