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Jury finds Nintendo liable for patent infringement on 3DS tech

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

The tech that powers the glasses-free stereoscopic 3D in Nintendo's 3DS handheld infringes on a display technology patent held by former Sony employee, according to a federal jury in New York. Reuters reports the ruling against Nintendo could mean a payout of $30.2 million in compensatory damages, the amount awarded by the jury.

Inventor Seijiro Tomita sued Nintendo in 2011 for patent infringement, seeking damages. Tomita's attorney said the inventor demonstrated his 3D prototype for Nintendo executives in 2003, while the patent was still pending. Attorneys for Nintendo argued that the game maker's demo from Tomita was "one of hundreds" of such meetings.

Scott Lindvall, a defense attorney for Nintendo, argued that the Nintendo 3DS doesn't use "key aspects" of Tomita's patent, Reuters reports.

The case went to trial on Feb. 25 in a New York federal court.

A spokesperson for Nintendo of America offered the followed statement to Polygon.

A jury awarded $30.2 million in damages to Tomita Technologies in a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Tomita against Nintendo. The Tomita patent did not relate to the 3D games playable on the Nintendo 3DS. The trial was held in U.S. District Court in New York before Judge Jed Rakoff.

Nintendo is confident that the result will be set aside. The jury's verdict will not impact Nintendo's continued sales in the United States of its highly acclaimed line of video game hardware, software and accessories, including the Nintendo 3DS. Nintendo has a long history of developing innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others.

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