Bloomberg is reporting that Nintendo has been ordered to pay inventor and former Sony employee Seijiro Tomita $15.1 million dollars for infringing on the technology he created that was allegedly used for the 3DS hand-held gaming device. The $15.1 million represents about half of the $30.2 million Tomita was awarded by a jury when he won his lawsuit against Nintendo in March of this year.
Tomita's lawyers argued that Tomita showed a prototype of his technology to seven different Nintendo officials at the 2003 meeting, four of whom would later help develop the 3DS. Nintendo attorney Scott Lindvall argued that Tomita's lawsuit had no merit because the 3DS does not use key aspects of Tomita's patent. He also argued that the 2003 meeting between Tomita and Nintendo was one of several meetings the company had with individuals showing off 3D technology.
"The jury’s damages award was at least twice as large as the amount a reasonable jury could have awarded based on the evidence presented at trial and thereby must have involved the degree of excessive speculation that shocks the judicial conscience," U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan said in a decision yesterday.
Tomita sued Nintendo in 2011 and was asking for $9.80 for every 3DS sold, roughly $30.2 million in damages. Nintendo has sold nearly 32.5 million 3DS units to date.
"Nintendo will appeal the jury’s verdict and reduced damages award," Charlie Scibetta, senior director of Nintendo of America’s corporate communications, told Bloomberg in an e-mailed statement.