Blog #8

by carre107

Well, this blog is a little late. I suppose this is due to my laziness over Spring Break caused by my case of Senioritis. I already had all of the information and talked about it in class, but I didn’t translate the news into blog form for some reason. This blog is meant to be my blog for week 8 and I will not let the Senioritis strike again. The article I read (http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2013/03/13/nintendo-loses-3ds-patent-lawsuit.aspx) basically stated that Nintendo was sued for infringing on a patent. Apparently, Nintendo’s technology in their 3DS handheld gaming system wasn’t originally their idea. Tomita Technologies had a patent for 3D display and were awarded $30.2 million from Nintendo. The technology is described as “displaying stereoscopic images on-screen for viewing with the naked eye, i.e., without utilizing glasses or other devices”.

Tomita had originally asked for over $292 million from Nintendo according to this article (http://wipscorp.blogspot.com/2013/03/nintendo-should-pay-302m-to-tomita.html). I would say Nintendo made out like a bandit considering how much money they’ve made off of their 3DS sales. The Wii U sales have been poor, but the 3DS is certainly making up for it. According to Wikipedia (couldn’t find another source), Nintendo has sold 30 million 3DS’s as of 12/31/12 and still counting. Each one was sold at $200, now at $179, but now they have the 3DS XL which is again selling at $200. 30 million devices at $200 a piece is $6 billion! Tomita got about half of 1 percent of this revenue. I’d say Nintendo is laughing their way to the bank. Money wise, this incident doesn’t affect Nintendo very much, but from a social standpoint it may do a little more damage. This may give Nintendo a bad reputation and sales may go down which they cannot afford seeing that the Wii U isn’t getting them very far. However, I feel that most consumers won’t know about Nintendo being sued and frankly may not even care. I only found out they were sued due to research. How many kids are researching Nintendo news other than game release dates?  Either way, I think the reputation factor is of more concern than the loss of money.

I found another article (http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2013-03-20/h-p-develops-glasses-free-3-d-for-mobile-devices) to complement this news. Apparently, HP is implementing the same glasses-free 3D technology into their mobile devices. I’m curious to see if Tomita will receive money from HP as they did from Nintendo. I’m assuming HP won’t go down the path of Nintendo and use this technology without Tomita’s permission. If HP didn’t pay Tomita Technologies some sort of royalties, would they be sued by Tomita? I’m not really sure how patents work in that sense. If a patent is infringed upon by one company and they pay the inventor damages, is the patent disregarded when other companies use  the technology? I would assume not. Maybe HP can prove that their mobile devices are different enough from Tomita’s technology that they will avoid Tomita altogether. As a side note, I researched Tomita Technologies and there really isn’t much on them at all. I found one website entirely in Japanese and I have no other information on them. I think this is even better for Nintendo, because since Tomita is so unknown (at least I think it is), many will believe that the technology is really Nintendo’s.

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