Nintendo Lawsuit Ends with Royalty Payments on Every 3DS Sale

Tomita Technologies lawsuit against Nintendo ends with royalty payments on every 3DS sale. The ruling from U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff set the royalty rate to be paid to Tomita who brought the patent suit against Nintendo in 2011.

The patent suit alleged that the Nintendo 3DS stereoscopic 3D display infringed upon the patent Tomita Technologies held for "technology relating to displaying stereoscopic images on-screen for viewing with the naked eye, i.e., without utilizing glasses or other devices.". The patent was filed in 2003 and approved in 2008.

Patent suits are nothing new for Nintendo as they have been dealing with many complaints of patent infringements dating back to the GameCube console and the highly successful Wii.

While the 3DS is enjoying a solid upswing in sales, 1.82% must now be paid to Tomita Technologies on the wholesale price of every Nintendo 3DS sold as long as Nintendo continues to sell the handheld unit. They estimated price on this is $4 per unit. This is in addition to the $15.1 million in damages that were award to Tomita by a federal jury earlier in 2013.

Current figures put the lifetime sales of the Nintendo 3DS and 3DSXL around 35 million units total with 2 million sold during the last financial quarter. A solid list of games announced for the hand held is expected to keep the demand for the 3DS high into the next calendar year.

The new Nintendo 2DS, which eschews the 3D display to make the handheld console more affordable was not included in the judgement.

While Nintendo is not in any financial trouble after a record breaking console cycle with the Wii, the 3DS is not duplicating the same success the DS did. In addition, the Wii U is not moving anywhere near the numbers it needs to in order to sustain its viability in the console marketplace. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are over 3 million units sold since launching in November while the Wii U is struggling to catch up even with a year long head start.