Inventor Seijiro Tomita was a little upset when he found that Nintendo had used what appeared to be technology, that he had patented, in the 3DS handhelds. Apparently a judge agreed and awarded him $30.2 million when he won his court case.
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 defense 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.
In response to the verdict, Nintendo released the following statement to Kotaku:
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.
Although Nintendo has fairly deep pockets, do you think that the fine of $30.2 million will hurt them? How do you feel about patent lawsuits? Do you think that they are used too often or was should they be examined more?