Nintendo Forced To Pay Royalties to Tomita on Every 3DS Sold

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Nintendo Forced To Pay Royalties to Tomita on Every 3DS Sold

3ds xl comparison

A court has found Nintendo guilty of infringing on Tomita Technology's 3D screen patent.

A United States federal judge has declared Nintendo guilty of infringing on Japanese corporation Tomita Technology's glasses-free 3D technology, and has been ordered to pay Tomita a royalty from every single 3DS sale. The royalty amounts to 1.82 percent of the wholesale price of each 3DS, 3DS XL, and any future revision that utilizes the 3D screen, throughout the handheld's entire life.

Nintendo was initially found guilty of infringement by a jury back in March, and was ordered to pay $30 million (which was later reduced to $15 million). $15 million is nothing to scoff at, but for Nintendo it wouldn't have make too big a dent in the savings.

1.82 percent from every unit sold, however, considering how incredibly successful the 3DS has been, and continues to be, should amount to quite a lot of money.

The judge rejected a flat rate payout as it would have represented an "unearthed windfall" for Tomita. The percentage-based award means that the royalty will scale with the price of the 3DS's various revisions, which will no doubt drop in the future.

So what do you guys think? Is Tomita just a patent troll, or does it have a legitimate case?

Source: Engadget

Permalink

Aaand that was the death of 3D handheld gaming right there. Ouch.

EDIT: Wait. Two Japanese corporations and a US federal judge rule. Don't...they have ways of handling this in Japan?

I'd like to know where they got that percentage, I'd imagine no one who actually worked on the 3DS gets that much.

Obvious patent troll is obvious.

Did Tomita develop, market or try to do anything with the patent? Since they haven't released anything, we can say No.

When they announced the 2DS, my first thought was that they were making changes because of this lawsuit. I think that they may even stop production on all 3DS models and go strictly with the 2DS. Maybe we will see a clamshell 2DS or maybe they will go ahead and release a new handheld.

Nintendo doesn't like paying royalties, it's the reason you can't play CD/DVD/Blu Rays on your Nintendo consoles.

If you read the patent, it's about using 3D cameras to determine user location, and adjusting 3D display accordingly. Notably, the 3DS doesn't even do this. I can't believe Tomita won this.

P.S. Thanks

I don't.....I don't understand this. A US judge decided this. A Japanese company that used unlicensed tech from another Japanese company....why is this not being dealt with in-country? I'm not being all "Oh, america needs to fuck off and stop oplicing the world and other such nonsense". I genuinely don't know and want to.

Reaper195:
I don't.....I don't understand this. A US judge decided this. A Japanese company that used unlicensed tech from another Japanese company....why is this not being dealt with in-country? I'm not being all "Oh, america needs to fuck off and stop oplicing the world and other such nonsense". I genuinely don't know and want to.

They probably set it up so it would be held in California, Texas, or Washington as they are notorious for favouring patent holders (and companies in General). You'll often find that EULAs stipulate you agree to do court in one of these three places as well, as the judges will almost always uphold the EULA.

Covarr:
If you read the patent, it's about using 3D cameras to determine user location, and adjusting 3D display accordingly. Notably, the 3DS doesn't even do this. I can't believe Tomita won this.

P.S. Thanks

Well, if THIS is true, then yeah, this is a nasty patent troll, and I'm upset that they won. D:

Covarr:
If you read the patent, it's about using 3D cameras to determine user location, and adjusting 3D display accordingly. Notably, the 3DS doesn't even do this. I can't believe Tomita won this.

P.S. Thanks

Is that true?

What a fucking joke the patent system must be for something like that to count.

I'd like to see patent law change slightly to be where in these cases the patent holder must prove his actual physical technology they produced and developed is found in whatever device or programming they're suing.

How much is a good idea worth?
For someone who has the concept, the plan, without the means or the funds?

I suppose 1.82% is reasonable.

If someone came up to me after I made $3 making and selling my hairbrush/toothbrush hybrid invention and showed me a blueprint of his comb/toothbrush hybrid he'd designed, demanding royalties, I could give him $.06 (rounded up) to shut the hell up and leave me alone, if he was the only one asking. When I later make 3.5m on my invention, I could grudgingly give up $63,800 (rounding up) as a cost for not checking the patent system for an existing design, as I should have since I expected to make so much money with my product. After all, it's a lot of money given to someone who had nothing more than an idea, but I'm a multimillionaire by comparison.

I think there is more to patent trolling then meets the eye, though I also think that too many laughable patents exist at all (the Wii lawsuit days exemplify this).

Covarr:
If you read the patent, it's about using 3D cameras to determine user location, and adjusting 3D display accordingly. Notably, the 3DS doesn't even do this. I can't believe Tomita won this.

P.S. Thanks

My 3DSXL sure as hell doesn't do that, I wish it did, turning slightly to the side turns the screen into a mess of different layers.

Still, it's unfortunate that people can make a living basically by saying, "I thought of it first! You can't do it now!"

I mean, I had this great idea of making a sequel to Pokemon 5, and then Nintendo went and made one, and never asked me if I hadn't thought of it before them.

FalloutJack:

EDIT: Wait. Two Japanese corporations and a US federal judge rule. Don't...they have ways of handling this in Japan?

Reaper195:
I don't.....I don't understand this. A US judge decided this. A Japanese company that used unlicensed tech from another Japanese company....why is this not being dealt with in-country? I'm not being all "Oh, america needs to fuck off and stop oplicing the world and other such nonsense". I genuinely don't know and want to.

This is a US patent and a device licensed and sold in the US. These claims then run into issues within the US.

Ed130:

Is that true?

No.

Well, sort of. The patent dispute is in part about the cameras and the way they pick up and display an image. The image shifting is part of the patent but not the issue in dispute here. Nor, strictly speaking, is the 3D display itself.

You can find the rulings on the proceedings thus far online if you really want. I'd recommend not taking someone's word for it, as the prior poster seems to have an incomplete understanding.

That being said, it's still an anal decision. But honestly, what does one expect from law in the first place?

Sadly, this is sort of the way most technology works. The best stuff is buried under patent trolls, and even those that do get through and get made might be buried beneath lawsuits. Cell phone companies in particular seem to exist solely off of one another by suing each other each time they push a new one out.

Despite that sad truth though, I am also of the opinion that this is complete crap.

Covarr:
If you read the patent, it's about using 3D cameras to determine user location, and adjusting 3D display accordingly. Notably, the 3DS doesn't even do this. I can't believe Tomita won this.

P.S. Thanks

I might be off in this but in the Ocarina of Time remake, you can aim/look around using the cameras on the back of the display. Could the patent be interpreted to mean something like this?

Unless it's about looking at the user, and changing the angle of the screens to sustain the 3d illusion at different distances/angles. That, the 3DS definitely doesn't do.

...Or am I off on both accounts?

I wonder how much of the overall profits this ruling eats off the 3DS. Nintendo only recently started making a profit per hardware unit sold.

hazydawn:
This patent system is a disease.

And a tear is shed when every publisher has to pay for royalties. Them being a dog eating other dogs in a dog eat dog world, they got what they deserved. You reap what you sow.

There's no sympathy for Nintendo.

Well, this sucks. Sadly no company is free from patent trolls in the world, let's just hope that Apple doesn't one day decide to sue Nintendo for some "touch interface" or something. If company in the world are the most ruthless when it comes to patent trolling, it would be Apple, the lovely company that trademarked rectangles with rounded corners...>.>

144:

I think there is more to patent trolling then meets the eye, though I also think that too many laughable patents exist at all (the Wii lawsuit days exemplify this).

While the current system is an entire joke, patents are actually needed in some way because without them nothing would be stopping other companies from outright stealing the same exact technology that another company uses and call it their own.

Good. Anything that takes money away from Nintendo makes me happy.

008Zulu:
Obvious patent troll is obvious.

Did Tomita develop, market or try to do anything with the patent? Since they haven't released anything, we can say No.

Not for you to decide I'm afraid.

hazydawn:
This patent system is a disease.

From the company that issue Youtube take down notices of videos with their games because it "violates their Intellectual Property", forgive me if I don't feel all the much sympathy.

RT:
Good. Anything that takes money away from Nintendo makes me happy.

Why?

Such a shame I can't just ask why. All I really want to ask is why but since I have to add more to avoid a warning....

You must really hate Nintendo, did they make your 360 red ring or something? Did they hack Mario into your Halo game?

WeepingAngels:

RT:
Good. Anything that takes money away from Nintendo makes me happy.

Why?

Such a shame I can't just ask why. All I really want to ask is why but since I have to add more to avoid a warning....

You must really hate Nintendo, did they make your 360 red ring or something? Did they hack Mario into your Halo game?

Well OF COURSE. Anyone who doesn't like Nintendo is a Halo-loving frat boy! While we're at it, you could ask if they made me spill Mtn Dew on a 360. And I don't even own a 360.

Yeah, I don't like Nintendo. They are hugely overrated.

I googled nintendo patent lawsuit and it seems they have been sued over patents for every console launch since the nintendo 64

RT:

WeepingAngels:

RT:
Good. Anything that takes money away from Nintendo makes me happy.

Why?

Such a shame I can't just ask why. All I really want to ask is why but since I have to add more to avoid a warning....

You must really hate Nintendo, did they make your 360 red ring or something? Did they hack Mario into your Halo game?

Well OF COURSE. Anyone who doesn't like Nintendo is a Halo-loving frat boy! While we're at it, you could ask if they made me spill Mtn Dew on a 360. And I don't even own a 360.

Yeah, I don't like Nintendo. They are hugely overrated.

It was the best I could come up with. I didn't even want to type anything more than "Why" but we are on the Escapist.

I think Taco Bell is hugely overrated but I wouldn't want anyone to take money from them.

heroicbob:
I googled nintendo patent lawsuit and it seems they have been sued over patents for every console launch since the nintendo 64

Maybe it's getting to the point that next time they will be sued for packaging their console in *Cardboard.

* = Trademarked.

-Dragmire-:

I might be off in this but in the Ocarina of Time remake, you can aim/look around using the cameras on the back of the display. Could the patent be interpreted to mean something like this?

Unless it's about looking at the user, and changing the angle of the screens to sustain the 3d illusion at different distances/angles. That, the 3DS definitely doesn't do.

...Or am I off on both accounts?

Bingo, you got it right the second time. I don't know how Tomita finagled their way to a victory here, unless the judge REALLY didn't understand the technology involved.

P.S. Thanks

Covarr:
Bingo, you got it right the second time. I don't know how Tomita finagled their way to a victory here, unless the judge REALLY didn't understand the technology involved.

P.S. Thanks

Well the trial was held in the United States for a reason Covarr. XD
Let's just be glad that they didn't sue them in Texas, because the fines for it when suing there could actually put Nintendo down a few billions. (believe me it's bad)

WeepingAngels:

RT:

WeepingAngels:

Why?

Such a shame I can't just ask why. All I really want to ask is why but since I have to add more to avoid a warning....

You must really hate Nintendo, did they make your 360 red ring or something? Did they hack Mario into your Halo game?

Well OF COURSE. Anyone who doesn't like Nintendo is a Halo-loving frat boy! While we're at it, you could ask if they made me spill Mtn Dew on a 360. And I don't even own a 360.

Yeah, I don't like Nintendo. They are hugely overrated.

It was the best I could come up with. I didn't even want to type anything more than "Why" but we are on the Escapist.

I think Taco Bell is hugely overrated but I wouldn't want anyone to take money from them.

I have no idea. Never had a taco in my entire life. Nachos are definitely overrated, I'd take potato chips over them any day.

RT:

WeepingAngels:

RT:
Well OF COURSE. Anyone who doesn't like Nintendo is a Halo-loving frat boy! While we're at it, you could ask if they made me spill Mtn Dew on a 360. And I don't even own a 360.

Yeah, I don't like Nintendo. They are hugely overrated.

It was the best I could come up with. I didn't even want to type anything more than "Why" but we are on the Escapist.

I think Taco Bell is hugely overrated but I wouldn't want anyone to take money from them.

I have no idea. Never had a taco in my entire life. Nachos are definitely overrated, I'd take potato chips over them any day.

Well, I am sure potato chips are patented. I wonder if everyone has to pay royalties to fry up some potatoes.

Zachary Amaranth:
Zoop

Ah, well, see...I didn't know that. So...my original statement probably stands, then?

WeepingAngels:

Well, I am sure potato chips are patented. I wonder if everyone has to pay royalties to fry up some potatoes.

Well no, because you can't patent anything like that really since cooking oils and frying oils, along with potatoes, are derived from natural resources. You can't patent a natural resource. God help us if you could.
Also, patents are used mainly for technology and not food. Names are often trademarked, but that's usually for brands so then no one can actually use it against the company that is named that. Patent and Trademark laws are necessary, but are a bit outdated and as a result have been abused by patent trolls like Samsung and Apple.

Anyway, he said he doesn't like Nintendo because he finds them overrated, isn't that a good enough answer?

deadish:
Not for you to decide I'm afraid.

If you don't make an effort to use it, you shouldn't be allowed to keep it.

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