Nintendo is the target of a patent infringement case that claims its use of 3D technology in the 3DS violates the patents held by 58-year-old inventor Seijiro Tomita. Opening arguments in the case began today, according to Destructoid. Tomita claims that he presented his glasses-free 3D technology to seven Nintendo officials at their Kyoto headquarters in 2003. At the time, claims Tomita, he was looking for licensing partners as he awaited his patent application to be approved. Four of those seven officials who saw that technology went on to develop the 3DS, which released March 2011.
Tomita's attorney, Joe Diamante says that his client felt "betrayed and hurt that they were using his technology." Citing an expert's damage estimate, Dimante claims that Tomita is entitled to nearly $9.80 for every 3DS sold, which has an original list price of $169.99 when it launched.
Nintendo attorney Scott Lindvall countered that the company often held meetings with vendors who were showcasing 3D technology, and that four such meetings were held prior to Nintendo's meeting with Tomita. One of the vendors, Nintendo claims, was Sharp Corp. They claim they met a representative from Sharp in 2002. The company ultimately went on to manufacture the 3DS' display.
"Mr. Tomita's meeting was one of hundreds," Lindvall claimed.
Lindvall added that the 3DS does not use a number of features from Tomita's patent, such as "cross-point" information, which helps display 3D images on different screens.
Diamante went on to say that Tomita has had a lot of trouble finding a licensee for his 3D technology since the release of the 3DS in 2011
Tomita is a former Sony employee who retired in 2002 from the company after 30 years to pursue inventions. He holds roughly 70 patents globally, as an inventor or co-inventor, and has received the patent for his 3D display technology in the US and Japan in 2008. Tomita filed his lawsuit in 2011.
We will have more on this story as it develops.