Nintendo loses 3DS patent battle

Written by David Hing

January 7, 2014 | 10:53

Tags: #3ds #patent

Companies: #nintendo

Nintendo has lost a court battle over the glasses-free 3D technology used in its handheld 3DS consoles.

The gaming giant was taken to court by Tomita Technologies, a company which has already successfully taken Nintendo to court on a similar matter relating to the 3DS.

Following the ruling, Nintendo must pay Tomita 1.82% of the wholesale price of each 3DS sold, working out to approximately $3 per unit. This means Nintendo will have to pay out approximately $105m for the 35 million units that have already been sold.

Judge Rakoff, who presided over the case, explained that the court decided on a royalty rate as opposed to the flat dollar rate that Tomita had initially requested. This was to ensure that Tomita did not gain an unfairly increasing proportion of 3DS sales as the console's price fell.

Tomita's previously successful patent suit concluded last March and resulted in Nintendo being ordered to pay $30.2m, although this was later reduced down to $15.1m.

Nintendo's newest console, the Wii U, has continued to struggle with the machine only selling 3.91 million units worldwide by the end of September 2013. Reports suggested however that the Wii successor was one of the most sought after Christmas presents, so this figure could have shifted since then.
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