$15 million is only half the amount the engineer sought.
Back in March, Seijiro Tomita - a former Sony engineer - won his case against Nintendo, alleging it had infringed his patent for 3D imaging technology and used it in its 3DS device. He was awarded $30.2 million in damages. However the judge reduced the award from $30.2 million to $15 million. The higher figure was "intrinsically excessive and unsupported by the evidence presented at trial," according to federal judge Jed Rakoff.
According to the suit, Tomita demonstrated his prototype - which allowed the user to see 3D images without the need for special glasses - to a meeting of Nintendo engineers in 2003, some of whom went on to make the 3DS. Nintendo tried to argue that this meeting was only one of several it had with all kinds of 3D tech vendors, and that it didn't use Tomita's invention. The judge didn't agree.
Is this the last of the Tomita patent feud? Not at all. Nintendo is confident that it didn't really infringe his patent, and has already said that it "will appeal the jury's verdict and reduced damages award to the court of appeals."