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U.S. jury finds Nintendo liable for patent infringement

The logo of Nintendo Co is pictured outside the company headquarters building in Kyoto, western Japan January 7, 2013. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao
The logo of Nintendo Co is pictured outside the company headquarters building in Kyoto, western Japan January 7, 2013. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

By Bernard Vaughan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal jury in New York on Wednesday found that video game company Nintendo Co infringed an inventor's 3-D display technology patent with its handheld 3DS videogame system.

The jury awarded the inventor, Seijiro Tomita, $30.2 million in compensatory damages.

The patent relates to technology that Tomita developed for providing 3-D images without the need for 3-D glasses.

In opening arguments last month, Tomita's attorney, Joe Diamante, told the jury in U.S. District Court in Manhattan that Nintendo used technology that Tomita developed for its 3DS. Tomita is a former longtime Sony Corp employee.

But Scott Lindvall, a defense attorney for the Super Mario Bros franchise creator, argued that the 3DS doesn't use key aspects of Tomita's patent.

Lindvall also said a 2003 meeting with Nintendo officials that Tomita cited in his argument was merely one of several the company held with vendors selling 3-D display technology.

Tomita, 58, sued Nintendo and its U.S. unit in 2011 for patent infringement. Tomita was not present in the courtroom on Wednesday.

"We are thankful to the jurors for their diligence and hard work," Diamante said in an e-mail after the verdict. "It has been a honor to represent Mr. Tomita and to protect his invention."

Lindvall declined to comment following the verdict. Nintendo officials were not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Bernard Vaughan; Editing by Richard Chang)

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