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Nintendo Sued For Patent Infringement Over Use of 3D Tech

by Ron Duwell | February 27, 2013February 27, 2013 2:00 pm PDT

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A former Sony inventor named Seijiro Tomita has brought Nintendo to court, claiming that he invented the 3D viewing technology used for their popular 3DS handheld. His 2008 patent gives him credit for developing a method to produce 3D images without the use of glasses.

During opening arguments on Monday morning at the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Tomita’s attorney Joe Diamante pointed to a 2003 meeting at Nintendo headquarters in Kyoto when Tomita pitched a prototype of his design to seven Nintendo officials. Four of these men would go on to develop the 3DS.

Nintendo’s attorney, Scott Lindvall, claims that the meeting held with Tomita was just one of many Nintendo had held during their shopping period for 3D technology. He also claimed that the Nintendo 3DS doesn’t infringe on key aspects of the patent, and that Sharp actually developed the visual technology used to created the 3D effects, not Tomita’s prototype. The two companies met in 2002, prior to their meeting with Tomita.

Tomita disagrees, claiming his prototype powers every handheld device out there, and he is demanding compensation. His lawyers suggested he could be awarded $9.80 of every Nintendo 3Ds sold in America if his claim is successful.

What to make of this one? Well, Tomita not only holds the patent in the United States, which he has held since 2008, but he also holds the patent in his home country of Japan as well. If you plan on suing a company, why not leave your native land and come to the bizarre world of American patents to carry out the lawsuit, where you probably stand a better chance of getting your ridiculous claim?

I won’t downright deny the guy a chance, but I’ll lean towards Nintendo’s explanation that this guy was just one of tons of inventors who is just upset his invention was shafted for a better one.

Thomson Reuters

Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...

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