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3DS

Nintendo Ordered to Pay Royalities on 3DS to Tomita Technologies

by Kimberly Keller - January 7, 2014, 5:18 pm PST
Total comments: 19 Source: http://www.law360.com/articles/495175/rakoff-sets-..., Law360, https://ia700502.us.archive.org/24/items/gov.uscou...

And the battle over the 3D camera's patent infringement continues.

Nintendo has been ordered to pay royalties on every 3DS sale to Seijiro Tomita of Tomita Technologies USA, plus a set fine. This all comes at the end of the heated legal battle between Nintendo and Tomita Technologies over a patent dispute started back in 2011 over the use of glasses-free 3D technology.

Although Tomita previously asked for $4.45 per device, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff instead ordered Nintendo to pay 1.82 percent of the wholesale price for each 3DS sold. Judge Rakoff explained the percentage rate would take into consideration future markdowns in 3DS sale prices. On top of the percentage, Nintendo will pay Tomita $241,231 for damages and prejudgment interest.

A jury previously awarded Tomita $30.2 million, but Judge Rakoff cut it in half on the basis that, while sales of games have been strong, the 3DS itself has not been profitable. Furthermore, the judge felt the jury had put too much weight on the system’s game revenue, which was ruled unfair as the technology in question that Tomita developed, the 3D twin camera, is not widely used in games.

Tomita opened the lawsuit against Nintendo in 2011, after Nintendo released the 3DS without crediting his company for the use of the 3D camera. Tomita had previously met with Nintendo and presented his invention to the company before the system released and was declined. The initial trial ended on March 13, when jurors ruled in favor of Tomita.

The final ruling was reached in December, but it is unknown whether either company will seek to appeal the decision. In August, Charlie Scibetta, a spokesman for Nintendo, said in a statement, "Nintendo will appeal the jury's verdict and reduced damages award to the court of appeals."

Talkback

Chad SexingtonJanuary 07, 2014

I guess this means there will be no 3d in the next Nintendo handheld?


Too bad.  I always use 3d.

BlackNMild2k1January 07, 2014

IT was a nice gimmick, but maybe Nintendo will go with 3 3D cameras for triangulation and get around the patent that way. or 4 cameras for quadangulation. Go Sony style on them and double down.

pokepal148Spencer Johnson, Contributing WriterJanuary 07, 2014

5$ is pretty genorous considering how many people care about the cameras

KhushrenadaJanuary 07, 2014

Quote from: Chad

I guess this means there will be no 3d in the next Nintendo handheld?


Too bad.  I always use 3d.

Same here. I think it's absolutely great. Once I've played a game for a bit in 3D, I can't go back to it in 2d. It never looks right. I've wondered if Nintendo would carry the 3D idea forward but then seeing this whole lawsuit problem makes me fear that it will get dropped by the next generation. I hope not because that feels like a step backwards in gaming.

NemoJanuary 07, 2014

Another good argument (for Nintendo's case) is the 2DS. See? You don't NEED 3D for the games. Maybe people are buying most of the games to play them on the 2DS?

ArganosJanuary 08, 2014

Guys............ Read the article.  Its talking about the cameras.  Not the 3D effect on the screen.

OblivionJanuary 08, 2014

People don't like to read, remember? Jesus.


What I could see them doing is getting rid of the 3D camera to get around this royalty considering it isn't exactly a selling point or very essential. I mean, a potato could take a better photo than a 3DS in 2014.

CericJanuary 08, 2014

That whole 3D Camera tech isn't exactly new I mean its a well known technique even back in the early days of photography.  I think they were over generous.

Ian SaneJanuary 08, 2014

It seems oddly fitting that Nintendo would get sued over a non-essential gimmick feature that no one cares about.  Maybe it will encourage them to be more straightforward in the future.  No one can sue them for joysticks, d-pads and buttons or just beefing up the existing specs.

I love my 3DS XL but I believe the only time I have used the camera was to take a picture of myself to create a quick Mii.  Is it required to complete any games?  Could Nintendo get away with just removing it from future 3DS revisions?

azekeJanuary 08, 2014

Quote from: Ian

I love

Who are you and where is real Ian Sane?

AdrockJanuary 09, 2014

Quote from: Ian

It seems oddly fitting that Nintendo would get sued over a non-essential gimmick feature that no one cares about.  Maybe it will encourage them to be more straightforward in the future.  No one can sue them for joysticks, d-pads and buttons or just beefing up the existing specs.

How is that fitting at all? All three hardware manufacturers include non-essential shit in their devices. It's extremely unfair and silly that you continually act like Nintendo is only company doing this when, in fact, they offer the least amount of non-essential extras.

Quote:

Is it required to complete any games?  Could Nintendo get away with just removing it from future 3DS revisions?

Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir is built entirely around the 3D cameras. Swapnote wasn't really a game, but you could send photos with it until perverts decided that we can't have nice things.

And I suppose Nintendo could remove the cameras, but I'd rather they not. I don't even use them; I simply don't think there's harm in them being there. It's kind of like the ridiculously pointless, only-for-decoration spoiler on my car. I didn't really want it, but it came with the model I wanted (with the black interior and alloy wheels). It's not hurting anyone besides making my car slightly more difficult to clean. I'm sure there are people who dig the spoiler, just like some people dig the cameras (for AR games and such I keep forgetting actually exist).

In any case, the inside camera has way more potential. In the future, that could be used for in-game chat and whatnot. Maybe not in 3DS, but I would like to see Nintendo attempt to implement it in a successor.

Ian SaneJanuary 09, 2014

Quote from: Adrock

And I suppose Nintendo could remove the cameras, but I'd rather they not. I don't even use them; I simply don't think there's harm in them being there.

But there is harm in them being there in that Nintendo has to fork over royalties.  So could Nintendo get away with cutting the feature in future 3DS revisions to get around that?

AdrockJanuary 09, 2014

Are you really trying to advocate removing a feature? Sure, that's worked out exceptionally well in the past. Companies don't always own every patent that goes into a product. Paying royalties is part of the cost of doing business. Some people like it and use it, even you or I don't. That's reason enough to keep it.

Ian SaneJanuary 09, 2014

From a consumer perspective I wouldn't want a feature axed but I know Nintendo likes to save money so I'm just wondering if it would be feasible for them to remove the function because I assume they would want to.  It had happened.  Later PS2 variations didn't support the hard drive and the Wii Mini doesn't even let you go online.  And Nintendo just recently released a variation of the 3DS without 3D.

BlackNMild2k1January 09, 2014

Are there 3D cameras on the 2DS?

AdrockJanuary 09, 2014

Quote from: Ian

It had happened.  Later PS2 variations didn't support the hard drive and the Wii Mini doesn't even let you go online.  And Nintendo just recently released a variation of the 3DS without 3D.

I didn't say it hasn't happened. Clearly, it has. People get upset when it has hence "Sure, that's worked out exceptionally well in the past." Still, I was mainly referring to removing features from a successor (like backwards compatibility). That's when people seem loudest with voicing their displeasure. Or when a company retroactively removes/disables functionality from existing hardware rather than simply excluding it from new models. How many PS3 owners even installed Linux? I think people were outraged mostly out of principle.

But yes, Nintendo can probably nix the cameras in a new model if they really wanted to without disrupting too many games (maybe just some features).

Quote from: BlackNMild2k1

Are there 3D cameras on the 2DS?

It has two cameras on the back so I think so. It just can't display the pictures in 3D. 2DS was designed before Nintendo shutdown Swapnote so the functionality there is even less useful.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorJanuary 09, 2014

Quote from: Adrock

Swapnote wasn't really a game, but you could send photos with it until perverts Nintendo decided that we can't have nice things.

Make sure you put the blame squarely where it belongs on this one.

nickmitchJanuary 09, 2014

I'm sure it wouldn't sting as much if it weren't the most half-assed feature on the damn thing.

Imagine if the 3DS could take photos as good as the cell phones that came out that year. You'd probably use 'em a hell of a lot more.

EiksirfJanuary 21, 2014

It's a shame to have to pay now, but had Nintendo seen this coming and still wanted to keep the camera, it's not crazy to think they'd have set up a financial arrangement with this company in the first place. That's all they'd have to do down the road if they want to continue with the cameras on the 3DS or future devices.

But, it's Nintendo, who hasn't ponied up for DVD playback yet, either, so we can probably guess the fate of the 3D camera.

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