On January 6 2014, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff ruled in favor of Tomita Technologies, forcing Nintendo to pay 1.82% (wholesale price) of each 3DS ever sold to Tomita. That equals to roughly $3.60 per unit sold, $100+ million estimated overall.
In November 2011, former Sony engineer Seijiro Tomita’s Tomita Technologies of Japan filed a lawsuit stating that Nintendo had infringed upon their glasses free 3D patent. Tomita Technologies had originally filed the patent back in 2003 and were approved in 2008; Nintendo unveiled their 3DS handheld in 2010, and launched in 2011.
“If, as Tomita suggests, the ongoing royalty rate were expressed as a flat dollar amount per unit sold, Tomita would capture an increasingly large proportion of each sale as the price falls, even as the technology’s reliance on the infringed patent remains constant,” explained Judge Jed Rakoff in a statement. “This would result in an unearned windfall for Tomita, and, accordingly, the court prefers an ongoing royalty rate expressed as a percentage of wholesale price.”
Not only will Nintendo need to pay the most recent royalty percentage to Tomita Technologies, but will pay $15 million in damages ordered by a US judge in August 2013.
Although Nintendo had recently seen an influx in sales due to the 2013 holiday shopping season, the company has taken some pretty deep financial hits in the last several years. The Tomita Technologies lawsuit has dipped more than $115 million from Nintendo’s finances, leaving many to speculate that they just witnessed Nintendo’s final blow before potential bankruptcy.