Nintendo Ordered to Pay Royalties on 3DS Sales For Patent Infringement
Posted by Thomas Whitehead
1.82% of the wholesale price
Last year we told you about the ongoing patent dispute between Nintendo and Seijiro Tomita of Tomita Technologies USA. The case dated back to 2011, with Tomita arguing that the use of glasses-free 3D — in particular the 3D camera option — utilised his patented technology. Tomita had presented this technology to Nintendo before the system was released and was declined, so therefore he lodged his complaint once the portable hit the market.
A jury initially awarded Tomita $30.2 million, with Federal Judge Rakoff then suggesting halving that award in August 2013; Nintendo stated that it would appeal that decision, while Tomita pursued the original award. In the latest progression to the case Judge Rakoff has now ordered Nintendo to pay Tomita 1.82% of the wholesale price (the rate that retailers pay for stock) for each unit sold — this is more than an implied equivalent of 1.36% from the halved reward in August, while Tomita was seeking a fixed amount of $4.45 per device. The decision to award a royalty was based on a principle of fairness, that Tomita's reward decreases with the value of the product; the same ruling ordered Nintendo to pay $241,231 in "supplemental damages and prejudgment interest."
That decision was reached back on 11th December 2013. As the previous changes and disputes of 2013 show, there may be more back-and-forth in the courts if there's scope for appeal at this stage. If more emerges we'll post an update.
Thanks to Ryan Millar for the tip.