Nintendo ordered to pay in 3-D patent suit

Bloomberg

Nintendo Co. said it was ordered to pay $30.2 million to a former Sony Corp. employee after a federal jury in New York ruled that the maker of the 3DS machine infringed on his patent.

The jury ruled Wednesday that Nintendo’s handheld player infringed on a 3-D technology patent held by Seijiro Tomita, said Yasuhiro Minagawa, a spokesman for Nintendo.

Tomita, who worked for Sony for almost 30 years before quitting in 2002, sued Nintendo in 2011, according to court documents. That is the same year Nintendo, the world’s biggest video-game console maker, introduced the 3DS, which allows users to see 3-D images without special glasses.

Nintendo said it will appeal. “We believe we can win a ruling that our 3DS doesn’t infringe the patent,” Minagawa said by phone.

Kyoto-based Nintendo in January lowered its full-year sales forecast for the 3DS to 15 million units from 17.5 million while predicting an operating loss of ¥20 billion for the year ending on March 31. The creator of “Super Mario” and “Zelda” is struggling to compete with tablet computers made by Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.

Nintendo released its latest home console, the Wii U, last year. With the successor to the Wii, which was initially released in 2006, the company is trying to stage a comeback in a market that has become increasingly dominated by games played on mobile phones.