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Nintendo To Pay Former Sony Employee $30.2 Million For Infringement Over Glasses-free 3DS Tech


Nintendo has been told to pay a former Sony employee a whopping $30.2 million in damages due to an infringement over glasses-free 3D technology by a New York federal jury. Seijiro Tomita, who had previously spent 30 years at Sony, sued Nintendo in 2011 for infringing his glasses-free 3D tech. Tomita told the jury that he had met Nintendo back in 2003 to discuss the technology. The jury found Nintendo in the wrong and dished out the $30.2 million to Tomita as compensatory damages.

Thanks to everyone that sent this in.

246 thoughts on “Nintendo To Pay Former Sony Employee $30.2 Million For Infringement Over Glasses-free 3DS Tech”

        1. well…yeh, unfortunately Nintendo had a bad run for the first time (I think…if so then first bad run in ages) but give me a rival console-based company that’s NEVER had a bad run…………now it’s your turn to comment…..

        2. Ugh… You said “drones”, I want to slap you. Don’t go calling people that and then pretend that you’re not sucking up to another company.

        3. Nothing compared to the Billions Sony lost last year…you drones seem to forget that. Have a nice day.

  1. NO!!! You could use that money to buy back Rare. They need it because look at what they did with Banjo Kazooie. Just buy back Rare

      1. In a interview on of former Rare’s members said “if Rare was purchased back by Nintendo, I would go right back to Rare”

        1. That would be a dream :) But sadly I don’t see Microsoft selling Rare back, they know it would help Nintendo too much.

          1. Rare sucks now. It sucked before Microsoft got their greasy mitts on it. Nintendo sold them because they sucked, not the other way around. The Stamper brothers left, then many other upper staff left, then they made Starfox Adventures which was a rip off of Zelda (fun, yes, and rendered beautifully, but unoriginal and not at all worthy of the company of Banjo Kazooie or Donkey Kong Country). Then they went to Microsoft and continued sucking.

            1. beemothelittleboy

              Star fox adventures suck, yeah don’t blame rare for that shit, that was miamotos fault for telling that could’ve been the best game rare created dinosaur planet, saying the main charact looked to much like fox if u don’t beleive type up dinosaur planetfirst 50 minutes on youtubeYouTube it look like a awsome and memorable game…

    1. If Nintendo wanted to buy Rare they would have done it when they had the chance, but they didn’t as they felt Rare had nothing to offer. And they were right.

      1. Actually last July, Nintendo was in negotiations with Microsoft to purchase some of their old IPs and even buy Rare back. The talks must have fallen though. The point is, Nintendo is interested.

        All I care about is Killer Instinct.

          1. That was the franchise rumored to be what Nintendo wanted. I don’t see why as the have enough furry-critters running around, but that is what the rumor said.

        1. That was a rumour that had no source there is no way in telling if it was true or not. Beside if Nintendo was interested in the IP they would have brought them when they had the chance but they didn’t.

          Nintendo didn’t think Rare or its IP was worth buying and they were right as Nintendo found success with Retro studio.

          1. Nintendo can’t just buy a franchise because they feel like it. Microsoft OWNS THEM. Microsoft has to be willing to SELL the franchises before Nintendo or anyone else could buy them. The fact that Microsoft shortly after that tried to renew the rights to ‘Killer Instinct’ shows that they aren’t willing to part with the Rare franchises easily.

            It was a ‘rumor,’ and it was reported on every major gaming news site and there was never any retraction. No reason to think it was not legit. To add to that, both ex and CURRENT Rare employees have talked about possible dealings with Nintendo. For all we know the deal could still be on the table. There is a lot of cash at stake here. Not something that can be ironed out quickly. Negotiations between major conglomerations can sometimes take even years.

        2. Fuck yeah! Killer instinct is all they need…that’d be some crazy shit if Nintendo did buy that IP and Retro was making the 3rd installment …

    2. Rare sucks now. It sucked before Microsoft got their greasy mitts on it. Nintendo sold them because they sucked, not the other way around. The Stamper brothers left, then many other upper staff left, then they made Starfox Adventures which was a rip off of Zelda (fun, yes, and rendered beautifully, but unoriginal and not at all worthy of the company of Banjo Kazooie or Donkey Kong Country). Then they went to Microsoft and continued sucking.

      1. Well you’ve got that all wrong. Nintendo only purchased 49% because they wanted to give the Stamper Bros. control over the company, but only develop for Nintendo. Unfortunately, when the Stamper Bros. left, Microsoft offered them a ton of money to sell to them, and with Microsoft owning 51%, Nintendo had no choice but to sell because it was pointless owning a company who would only develop for Microsoft.

  2. wow, wow… wow!
    Well 30.2 millions, for Nintendo is nothing. We know they had billions in the bank…
    More R&D Nintendo for the next time ;)

        1. If they just buy back Banjo Kazooie, Conker, and Perfect Dark. I’ll be joyous as all can be. I’m actually buying an Xbox just for Rare games because I can’t get an N64

          1. Don’t forget Killer fuc.. Instinct! That will be Nintendo’s well known fighter, like Street Fighter is for Capcom.
            I don’t feel the magic playing a Banjo or Conquer game on a microsoft console; i don’t understand why, is not the same.. =S . I feel happy to play those games in a Nintendo console.

            1. Maybe if there is a huge demand for them to buy back ALL the popular IPs, like Banjo Kazooie, Conker, Perfect Dark, and Killer Instinct. Just Maybe they’ll do it

              1. That’s something i was thinking a long time ago, seeing all those Survey’s pages. How can we scream at Nintendo’s face, and tell them to buy those franchises that will fit perfectly the WiiU.
                A demand page, maybe? But it will be so obvious that microsoft or another company will notice that.

                    1. I’ll do it, but my english and grammar is not that good; and before that we need advertisement, A LOT.

    1. Yeah, it doesn’t really matter when they’re going to be sitting in cash when the Pokemon Wii U game comes out.

      1. How is it fair that a butthurt cunt that couldn’t sell his outdated shit suddenly decided to sue Nintendo and won?
        Let me ask you something, when you have your work stolen, do you spend three years trying to sell it somewhere else while it is being used illegally; until someday you decide you want to sue?
        No, you take immediate action. The fact that this man somehow waited three years before telling he was ripped off, isn’t that a little bit suspicious? What was he doing? Living under a rock?
        There’s no excuse, the man works in this business, he couldn’t not know about the 3DS even before it was officially announced? Why didn’t he react when there were rumours of the console, or when it was announced, or when it launched, or in the following two years?

        1. Exactly, I love how these guys wait until their ‘innovation’ becomes a money maker before they come out of the woodwork and sue the company for allegedly ‘stealing’ it. It’s sort of like someone coming out and ‘suing’ Mother Nature for ‘stealing’ their ‘oxygen-producing’ technology after trees have been round for millions of years.

          Because if the 3DS had turned out to be a flop, do you think this guy would be suing Nintendo? Probably not.

          1. Neither has nintendo… After all they didn’t make the glasses free tech… Sharp did I believe… but it wasnt sony suing it was some lazy guy who wouldn’t do anything with his idea

          2. I think the Wiimote/Move fiasco is enough basis for a lawsuit, after all, not only the main figure of the product but even the publicity about it was copied.
            Of course, that would have been relevant three years ago, not now.

    1. I’m pretty sure they asked permission when they got the 3DS screens from Sharp.

      Yeah, that’s right. Nintendo don’t even make the damn screens they got sued for.

    2. Nintendo worked with several companies on the 3DS, they didn’t take this cunt’s shit, they used similar technology and the fucking retard sued three years later, when he realized he could make an easy living out of it.
      Seriously, if you had something that you considered the achievement of your life and it was stolen, would you wait three years, through rumors, announcements, launches, publicity and titanic sales to sue? No, you would take immediate action.
      It’s absurd that they want us to believe this fucking parasite stood three years looking at a business boom with his supposed ideas doing nothing until he suddenly decided he wanted to sue. And he didn’t even sue the right company as Nintendo does not manufacture the 3D screens. This is a fucking fraud.

  3. That is why you should not be giving out information. That stupid idiot told them the idea of 3D free glasses. If he worked for Sony then why didn’t he give them the idea. Funny if you ask me even if Nintendo took it and it was wrong of them to do so. Sony could of had that idea and caused Nintendo huge problems in future.

    1. wise old japanese; he wait 3DS to be successful and then he pushed more his case in the court; so he can grab a taste of that pie. =/

      1. Eh, they were sued in 2011. 2011 is the year the 3DS was released in. And as we all know, in its first months, the 3DS was not really successful. Means: Your argument is invalid.

        1. Yes Kairi, you have a good point there, but; think about, based on Nintendo’s console history, everybody knows they always tend to win good profits; waiting 1 or 2 years to see the 3DS sales increased; is something a common guy with no business strategies in his mind would know. That’s when greed comes in…
          We don’t know this Tomita guy, too. Why do you need 30.2 millions if your old? Children? Houses? Botox? Obviously he had a plan. :)
          (sorry for my bad english)

          1. I personally believe if you dont do something with your tech from 2003-2011 then you threw it away… and also sharp made the screens not nintendo so… yeah …maybe nintendo should sue sharp XD

          2. But just because they won good profit from their former consoles, doesn’t mean there can’t be an exception. Because there always can be unpredicted exceptions. Nobody could have foreseen that the 3DS would be this successful, not even the former Sony employee.
            And I don’t think anyone would say no to $30.2 million, no matter how old they are. (:

        2. Sorry, but that’s a bullshit excuse.
          If I had my books stolen from me I wouldn’t sit still for three years watching someone else profit from them until I decided to sue; even a month is too long for that.
          Also, are you aware that the console was rumored to exist as long as two years prior to the launch? And that it was announced more than a year before launch?
          You’re talking about how arguments fail and you can’t even think into their workings? The console wasn’t announced the day it launched, you know?

          1. Hey! Calm down xD , it was just an idea, i don’t have the universal truth. There could be a lot of situations. At the end we don’t know what Tomita was thinking. Innocent, or Not. He wants money from Nintendo because they have a lot. The real reasons remain unknown.

          2. Tenshiros said the former Sony employer waited for the 3DSs success before suing Nintendo, which is not true and that is what I tried to explain. I did not try to explain in any way why he waited for the release at all. Learn to read, please.

            1. Kairi, Well the idea i was sharing, was more in the lines of… He knew, Nintendo, almost every generation, succeed. Of course the 3DS wasn’t ready, but my idea was more like he sued them in 2011, but the case wasn’t on fire until this year(when magically the 3DS is the bomb in japan right now) and we began to hear more about the subject everywhere, then he/or his attorney think.. “hey! They’re selling a lot, let’s push the case a little more so we can grab those sweet yens”. You see?, i think i explain myself better this time.
              But this is just an idea, is not the real deal; Nobody knows what it’s happening. So we can only guess. That’s all.
              The bad thing is that, money is money, so i’m hoping Nintendo tries to make an arrangement so they can pay a little less, maybe 20″ millions or less; Even if the news said that they need to pay all.
              (hate my english i’m from ec)

  4. for what i know nintendo wasnt in charge of that tecnology they outsourced it to another company, that company should be the one sued, no nintendo, nintendo didnt say they made the tecnology, so is really weird that nintendo is the one to blame

        1. They are using it. The debate is whether or not they were infringing on the patent. The court of law says they are.

          I doubt Nintendo is going to take this up with a higher court as $30 million isn’t that much for them; So the record states that they did infringe on it.

          It happens all the time in the tech world. Sometimes it’s deliberate, other times it’s a mistake. Not sure about this time.

  5. thekidnintendowiiman

    So, isn’t Sharp responsible since they supplied the technology for the screen or was it an idea infringement?

    1. exactly! I think the dude just had a grudge against nintendo being an ex-sony employee and all. He didn’t even sue nintendo of europe which is kind of weird though…

  6. He was a former employer, nothing was copied by Nintendo from Sony. They just took his ideal and didn’t I’ve him credit. Happens all the time, yet i am disappointed in Nintendo they could have settled out of court.

  7. Just in case this article never bothers to hear what Nintendo said, here was NoA’s response:

    “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.”

  8. Wow I can’t believe it. Didn’t know Nintendo were low enough to steal peoples intellectual property. That’s it for them they’re bankrupt.

    1. Im sure the guy gettin 30 million is happy tho. Nintendo basically sold his technology for him but he gets all the profits.

      1. its the big wigs at nintendo. im sure the vast majority of developers at nintendo had nothing to do with this

  9. I thought Nintendo said they went with some elses idea? Funny how Sony ONLY copies Nintendo yet does Nintendo sue? Nope. I would like to see the proof the jury supposedly saw that proved they stole the idea. I call shenanigans otherwise.

    1. Sony does not copy Nintendo. They occasionaly borrow ideas from Nintendo. There’s nothing Nintendo can sue them for really.

      1. The move says hello, so does Sony all stars battle royale. If you believe that those are not copies then you have issues. Even a five year old would see this.

        1. They are blatant copies, yes. But I dunno if it’s really Lawsuit worthy. I’m no Lawyer, but motion control has been done long before the Wii, and even before the Sony Eyetoy, with the Powerglove. All Stars Battle Royale is just Sony’s version of Smash Bros I guess. Cross-overs aren’t Nintendo exclusives. You don’t need Nintendo’s permission to cross over Batman and Spiderman. As for it’s gameplay, I believe they admitted to it being a Smash clone. I dunno, regardless, Nintendo hasn’t sued.

          1. That still would mean that Sony stole motion-control from Nintendo of you are bringing up the ‘Nintendo’ Power Glove. o_O

            But seriously, all companies borrow ideas from each other. It’t not a big deal. Nintendo is the most ripped off company in teh history of gaming. It’s no problem because it has just contributed to gaming as a whole becoming better. I hope more ideas get ripped off from Nintendo in the future. It’ll only mean a better gaming experience for us.

            However as far as ‘copying’ goes. If I developed a new-type of basketball does that mean the original creator of the basketball’s family should sue me? No. When you take the exactly same thing of a competitor, change nothing at all, and slap your name on it then it is copying. For instance the JungleTac ‘Vii’ in China is a blatant rip-off of the Wii. Nintendo could sue the be-jabbers out of them, but what would be the point? You know??

      2. When Sony used Smash Bros as 1 of the Tags in the original trailer on youtube for All Stars Battle Royal? The Move? Having a “touch pad” while its not a screen making a touch feature in the middle of the controller is still following Nintendos lead.

  10. well if you all read any previous post about this before, Nintendo had met with many others before they met with him and did NOT choose or use this man’s idea. They chose a different company which supposedly took the idea.(and they had proof of it) Nintendo really wasn’t the one at fault. It was the company they went with which should have been the ones sued. NOT Nintendo. He also ONLY sued Nintendo of Japan and of America, but not Nintendo of Europe which makes no sense to me since they have 3ds’ as well. Nintendo didn’t win in court because it was tried with western jurors…this is why I believe jurors are idiots and no nothing about laws or evidence they just believe a friggin’ sob story over the truth. So yeah, jurors suck. That’s why Nintendo lost, but they will make their money back.

    1. I think the jury system should be banned… I mean Jurys convict men more so than women with equal evidence… its unjust… look at that Casey Anthony chick

      1. Exactly, just some crying cunt is all it takes of people to incur in unjust bullshit like this.
        Like this man, claiming all the crap he can, but does that change the fact that he spent three years after the 3DS’ first announcement, through rumors, announcements, launches, publicity and sales; trying to sell his technology?
        Who in their right mind would spend three years seeing someone else profit from their work and not do anything about it?
        And he goes and sues a company that does not even manufacture the product.
        Any intelligent person would have dismissed this case in a second.

  11. Remove the 3D technology from the system.

    1. It’ll make it even cheaper
    2. No one uses it anyways

    The No3DS.

      1. No they don’t. The closest a game came to “requiring” 3D was Super Mario 3D Land, and that was really only for a couple bonus stages. If there was such a way to create a game only playable in 3D I don’t think Nintendo would do it. It would alienate some of their fans that dislike the feature, and Nintendo has stated many times that 3D is purely optional. And it always will be.

        1. I didn’t say they can only be played in 3D, but just like you yourself said, some games require 3D like Super Mario 3D Land that required you use it to get to different parts of the levels, and so on.

  12. Nintendo must have had a reason to actually go through with the trial rather than settle out of court. But who are we kidding? This is New York people, the state that banned soda in big cups. The judge probably decided to give the guy a cut of Nintendo’s money because they’re all a bunch of socialists

  13. Is there a reason why you felt the need to state that it was a former Sony employee, just the guy name would be fine. Of course you probably did it on purpose to get the people to click on it.

  14. You can sue for technology you did nothing with since 2003?… MERICA… any common sensed judge would say “You didnt do anything with it why complain now?”

      1. Thats interesting… I believe in fair play… but whatevs.. the problem is the 3D tech didnt come from nintendo it came from an other company which should have been held accountable…

      2. Well.. it was the jury’s fault for Nintendo losing the lawsuit. They found the company guilty dispire them… NOT BEING GUILTY! It is like how Casey Anthony was found not guilty because the jury was on crack.

  15. Uhh… Nintendo has given warnings about the 3D via heath & safety rules. It’s really his fault that his eyes got damaged :/

  16. This is bad, real bad. The worst part (if Nintendo don’t win an appeal) is that Tomita will now get a cut of every 3DS sold thereafter so long as the glasses-free tech is being used.

    1. Where did you read that? Nintendo just had to pay for “damages.” Which is crap because the guy didn’t even do anything with his patent in the first place! He doesn’t automatically get a cut of every 3DS sold.

    1. Only governments are allowed to print money. I guess Nintendo will be sued for making counterfeit currency next! xD

    1. Because they’re assholes.
      And because the Move design is different tech, you can sue something that isnt your tech, although according to this, you can apparently if its slightly related to it.

      1. Nintendo wasn’t even in the wrong. They are basically “The innocent victim being punished for something they didn’t do.” Nintendo went out lf their way to NOT infringe on the patent, yet the jury found them guilty anyway. 😡

  17. Wow, what an asshole.
    “It does this, must be my design”
    Pretty sure it wasn’t your design seeing as Nintendo reached out to more than one person.
    Oh well, $30 mil doesnt hurt Nintendo that much in comparison to the amount companies loose by just releasing a console.

    1. I mean come on, “purposed the tech back in 2003”.
      Really? How could anyone this a 2003 design would be the same as a 2010-11 one.
      Pretty much won a case because “it’s similar”. Maybe because, thats the only way it can be done, you’re not God’s gift, you live in Japan in a generation of technological breakthroughs, some genius Japanese kid in school could probably design this.

  18. Patent Troll, the 2 patents aren’t even the same! Also it’s not even Nintendo’s Technology. Nintendo licensed the glasses free 3D tech from Sharp who actually makes the screens for Nintendo. This case should get thrown out after the appeal.

  19. Nintendo probably approached several companies to come up with glasses-free 3D tech. In the end they went with Sharp’s solution, so this guy is only suing because our court system in this country is totally messed up. Just a patent troll, and if he has a case he should be suing Sharp not Nintendo.

  20. Okay as much as this is bizarre, how did it at the start of the comments this turn into a nintendo should buy back rareware IPs?

    1. lol IDK!? 😆but Nintendo was bamboozled!! The guy got free money. If you are going to patent something shouldn’t you actually do something with the patent??? Sory Nintendo took the initiative, found success and now they have to pay for it. Complete bull.

  21. Fuck you Sony Baloney! Not only do you have the groins to copy Nintendo, but you also have the nucking futs to curse them by paying you up!

    YOU WILL PAY FOR THAT, SONY!!! YOU WILL PAAAAAY FOR THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. This isn’t bad. Patriots, people who recite and follow the constitution, people who don’t trust government and so on are now labelled ”Terrorists” and thrown in court. Hell, we have little kids who’re being conditioned to believe guns are bad by arresting them over poptarts bit till they look like guns or even using bubble guns. The court system is corrupt so it’s no surprise stupid things like this happen.

  23. I like how Sickr puts “former Sony Employee” as if this has shit to do with them at all.

    Disgusting and pathetic clickbait, no surprise.

    1. Yes, because it’s soo disgusting and pathetic to try to earn extra ad revenue to pay for the bread on the table.

    2. Actually if you read the origional article the jury specifically made an emphasis on the fact that the man was a former “SONY” employee. Sickr didn’t go out of his way to make a connection to the company.

    3. I’ve seen people put things like “Nintendo steals from Sony” relating to this article.

      But im sure that okay with you?

      Fuck off cunt

  24. Okay, I researched more into the story and it is rediculously stupid. The guy claims Nintendo stole his idea, but Nintendo was meeting with many people on glasses free technology at the time. So it wasn’t really “his idea.” What happened is this moron patented the idea in 2008.(Did nothing with it.. -__-) and then Nintendo went and made the 3DS and even avoided the parts of the patent that made it illegal to copy. However, the moronic jury found Nintendo in the wrong and forced them to pay. Da Fuq!? Nintendo got screwed!!!!!!!!

  25. Pingback: Gaming Charged » Former Sony Employee Sues Nintendo

  26. Paraphrasing from Zuckerberg in the Social Network
    If he really was the creator of glasses-free 3D, he would have created it.ù

    But well, considering how much money Nintendo truly has in stock, they can take the hit.

  27. Playstation Allstars isn’t copying Smash Bros at all.

    But since the style is relatively the same, let’s go ahead and sue…

    1. Its not far from the same thing.
      The sue was based on idea patenting (because apparently only 1 man can have an idea now), so technically they could sue them. But they won’t, because what’s the point, the studios who made it even shut down, it was a flop.

  28. Wow, can’t believe he won lawsuit when nintendo was having meetings about that same hardware a year before they even met that guy, look it up the info is out there!!

  29. Nintendo Commander

    Well my fellow brethren…

    As you know we got attacked recently and lost a batallion…

    Report indicates that this judge was of Microsoft origin paid to assist this Inventor Unit to attack Nintendo…

    However fear not, soon we will take back what’s ours and make the Vita extinct as revenge!

    And of course send our Ninjas to destroy this individual…

  30. I swear that 3-D display technology was used with the permission from Sharp. Shouldn’t he have sued Sharp instead?

  31. Pingback: Nintendo To Pay Former Sony Employee $30.2 Million… « Definition – What's Yours?

  32. Oddly enough, the case was lifted the exact month when Sony planned a price cut in PS Vita and why he still waits for the Nintendo 3DS to have a descent profit before the file that case even though he must file the case when the 3DS is still in development or was revealed to the pubic audience. How Odd is that?

  33. Pingback: Nintendo forced to pay $30,200,000 to former Sony employee over glasses-free 3D tech | Nintendo 3DS News

  34. Pingback: Nintendo loses lawsuit over glasses-free 3D technology

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