A retired Sony engineer has come out and claimed that the glasses-free technology that Nintendo has been advertising since last year is actually his.  Seijiro Tomita, founder of Tomita Technologies, claims to have filed a patent for the same 3D technology back in 2003 and actually having it granted in 2008, a few years before the Nintendo 3DS was announced.  If this is true, then this wouldn’t be the first time that Nintendo has been sued over “stolen” technologies.


Stolen technology or genius by Nintendo?

If you remember correctly, within the last few years Nintendo has been on the receiving end of “stolen” claims in regards to the Wii Fit, Gamecube and Classic Controller design, and the biggest one being the Motion Control that makes the Wiimote unique.  Tomita seeks damages, legal fees, and the satisfaction that Nintendo’s intent was “deliberate and willful”.

As Joystiq reported, the screens are made by Sharp, so this whole lawsuit might get even more fun down the road.

Source: Kotaku and Joystiq


  • Mike

    It seems more like he's patenting stereoscopy due to parallax, rather than the implementation itself. Further, proving "deliberate and willful" is dangerously difficult, particularly as one man versus a company. The best victory he can hope for is a few bucks in licensing.

    Also, how did the Classic Controller infringe on patents? It's a SNES controller with analog sticks.

      • ganonlord

        Now that is just stupid. They might as well have sued Microsoft since their controllers are also very similar.

        • TheMaverickk

          Man the original PS1 controller should've been sued as well then… it was basically an SNES controller with two small extended handles.

          You know something though… what it comes down to is the fact that companies and people are always suing people and companies over everything. There's thousands of copyrights out there and they are all very specific.

          It's not very often that you see anything really come out of this for anyone.

    • Disciple of Midna

      I think that the GameCube controller looks more like a modified N64 controller than anything. If you take out the middle "spike" with the analog, it has the same basic shape as the GameCube controller.

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  • zelda4ever

    um…lol? Who… I mean what is he thinking? Does he really hope to win? He is one person against nintendo. He is either very brave or outright stupid. Also, does that make the 3ds a collector item if he wins?

    • No. More than likely he is claiming something that isn't true and is trying to get a moment in the spotlight. Worst case, Nintendo settles out of court and nothing major happens. The 3DS is fine and it won't be a collectors item regardless.

      • zelda4ever

        Ah. Well that is much less entertaining, unless they decide to take him on in court. That would be very interesting to watch.

        • With technologies updating so fast, its hard to tell who got to a certain one first and sometimes gaming companies like to introduce "new" technologies that have already been created with the knowledge that if the person who invented the technology actually tries to sue, they know they have the resources to fight it and usually win. I don't think its right, but its usually how it works.

    • Geo

      No its more likely he's trying to an apple, suing someone over something that falls into the same general category. Like the Apple suing Google over the touchscreen. he's not really hoping to win so much as drag Nintendo through a long, mud slinging filled legal battle. Just to drag Nintendo's reputation down. It's a publicity stunt more then an attempt to win a legal battle.

      • That too. Minor companies like to drag the major one's reputations through the mud because the major companies have the money to do so.

      • TheMaverickk

        I agree with this… I wouldn't even be surprised if he is doing this on his own but under "Sony's influence"…. I mean why not play any card you can to bring your competitions rep down.

        At the end of the day we didn't see Nintendo suing MS over their Avatars (which was clearly a rip on Nintendo's Mii's).

        I find retarded cases like this annoying… just live and let be.

  • Xosgni

    A friend of mine once wrote Nintendo a letter saying that they should apply "Giga Pet" technology to Pokemon, making it so you could walk around with your pokemon. He received a letter back saying that his suggestion wasn't worth crap. Years later, they introduced the "poke walker"…… Maybe he should sue too.

    • Trolldad

      You know it's frustrating when people steal your idea's and don't even give credit to you

    • TheMaverickk

      In all honesty this is why there are warning that tell people from companies that they won't except ideas or suggestions… cause at the end of the day they don't want to get sued.

      Yet still hundreds of people probably still mail in ideas. It's not like anyone is ever able to track the point where an idea emerged.

      Someone inside Nintendo could easily be suggesting these things and could be suggesting these things for ages.

      For example the 3D aspect of the 3DS isn't the first use of 3D in video game consoles… the Nintendo was doing it years before… and the Virtual Boy was for the most part the first attempt at 3D portable gaming… Gunpoi was apparently a big advocate of it. We just don't hear every single idea bumped around behind corporate doors… and when we finally do, it's quite possible it's been years that people have been mentioning it internally.

    • Vio

      Uh, Tamagochi Pikachus have been around since the Game Boy days. The Pokewalker is just an extention of that. And I seriously doubt Nintendo would come back and say "your idea is crap". Not their style.

  • mikeypizzalover

    So the Wiimote motion controls were stolen, hence the sue, but Sony's Move was not by either the same people OR Nintendo? (Unless I fail at keeping up with lawsuits) A former Sony man sueing Nintendo for stolen tech., when Sony steals form Nintendo (evedence; Move) Steroscopic 3D an't common, but they share one, small detail? I'm gonna sue Nintendo because I have glasses, somting the 3DS does not requre. 'm not a total Nintendo fanboy, but I don't relly care for others, including some third parties (not Sega, I like Sega well, probly only Sonic)) Sony and Microsoft have good Ideas, but somytimes steal from Nintendo. Sony learned form Nintendo, and created somting first. Good move, Sony. It takes Skills

    • Kelz

      you know what's really great? spellcheck.

      • Ashmic

        really? ignore the post and notice the spelling? lol wow

      • mikeypizzalover

        I am sorry, but it was typed on my 3DS, while my parents were led to belive that I was asleep, being half asleep at 2 in the morning, AND failing in English/not being able to spell good, I thought it was pretty good. PLUS I was in a rush for….things

        HA, HA!!! You all lost the game! oO… so did I…

    • mikeypizzalover

      I also have a short atteention spa…

  • mikeypizzalover

    The Wiiu WILL be sued by Apple, But, like always Nintendo WILL CRUSH WHOEVER BATTLES THEM, THEN-&gt ;http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPtEQCVRy6Q

    • ganonlord

      I can see that one coming, but Nintendo can do one of two things in that scenario. 1) Remind Apple of what they did to get to where they're at (for those of you who don't know what I'm referring to, watch the movie "Pirates of Silicon Valley"), or 2) Didn't Nintendo mention that even they were surprised by all of this touch screen stuff, especially since they've been working on the Wiiu for awhile, as in before all of these new touch screen gadgets came along? Not to mention it's not surprising at all that many companies are developing similar technologies at around the same time. They'll probably bring that up.

      • TheMaverickk

        Tablets have been around for ages…. Apple didn't invent them. Also the Wii U combined tablet tech with controllers and anolog bits.

        Also if people want to get all fussy and technical, the Nintendo DS came before Apple even started producing iPods with touch screens…. and touch screens have been around a lot longer then even that.

      • mikeypizzalover

        But the thing is, copanies wanna sue Nintendo for money, regardless of the senario.

      • mikeypizzalover

        And the 3Ds has been in development scence they finished the DS, but nintendo are being sued.

    • stratisfire

      um apple wasnt the first to creat touch screen. and also remember the ds? yeah it has the same kind of touch screen as that. which has been around a lot longer than the iphone

      • mikeypizzalover

        Yeah, but it looks VAUGLY like the iPad so Apple might try to sue Nintendo, for the sake of MONEY. Steroscopic has been around longer than that patanet allowed in 2008. But that did not stop THIS guy!

  • If this was true that they stole it this guy would have said something months ago

    • ganonlord

      Yeah. Like….After last year's E3?

  • Meerkat

    I see a bright future in patent trolling.

  • Trolldad

    He's gonna have to prove that technology even existed, he's only 1 person, it's not like he can win alone

  • ChainofTermina

    *Nintendo fan boy*

  • Topaz Mutiny

    I'm laughing at the fact that it's a retired SONY employee who's pulling this. I immediately imagined this scene:

    Sony Execs: Quickly, we must somehow kill the 3DS before it becomes a threat to the Vita like how the DS crushed the PSP!

    Tomita: Lawsuit awaaaaaaaaay!

    • Keimori

      XD Why did I just imagine a old disgruntled Japanese guy In a long robe and pointy hat screaming "FLY MY MINNION! SUE, SUE, SUE!!! MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

      • GorCoronSumo

        Why did I just I just picture Ganondorf trying to take the Triforce of 3D?

        • Keimori

          "the Legend of Zelda : Subpoena of Justice" where Link and Zelda sue Ganondorf for his crimes. XP

          Imagine the judge being Darunia and instead of a gavel, he uses the megaton hammer, which makes that clasic "whumph!' sound from OoT.

    • Rockwell

      Leroy Jenkinses; They never win

      • Soulless Creature

        Sony must learn an important lesson, Nintendo has won.

        • Rockwell

          Amen Bro

  • Ganonslayer

    I don't remember hearing anything about Sony using 3D technology before Nintendo.

    • Meerkat

      Then you need to pay more attention. 3D television anyone?

      • Art1st4786

        3D television still requires glasss.

      • TwiliKitty

        Correct me if I'm wrong (which I probably am), but didn't the 3D television idea surface after the 3DS idea?

        • mikeypizzalover

          I thought 3D T.V.s have been around for a few years. 'cuz the Gamecube had a unrelesed add-on to make games 3D…..
          I guess I RELLY need to catch up on random info…..

          Did you Know that before Nintendo/Phillips relesed the Cdi, Nintendo was partnered with Sony and the end result was the PS1?

          • Yep, Nintendo is the reason that the Playstations 1, 2, and 3 exist. Nintendo wanted to stay cartridge and Sony wanted to make longer games that were more suited for disc. That is why Square moved from Nintendo over to Sony and that's why FF7 is on the PSX and not the N64.

          • tepig

            that partenership desroyed poor sega…

  • supergiraloz

    this guy is from sony, there's no way he's telling the truth

  • I'm tired

    He just had to be from Sony, didn't he?

  • ZaYeti

    I think this is hilarious because Nintendo isn't the only company to use handhelds with glasses-free 3D technology. Smartphones are doing it now.

  • Lol, Sony, that piece of crap company isn't going to achieve anything.

    • manga ninja

      thats why sony got hacked 🙂

  • i8oprah

    Wtf was he expecting, all the other handhelds are going to begin to be 3d not before long, Nintendo presented the idea, SONY didn't do crap. Was he just waiting for one to come out so he could 'attempt' to sue? All he's going to get is trampled by Nintendo, and if he has no proof, Nintendo might have the nerve to counter sue.

  • falconfetus8

    Anyone else reminded of Anascape?

    • mikeypizzalover

      I think the resopnce means "no"

      • Actually, I did post something on that. I believe Anascape is the reason I posted about the Gamecube/Classic Controller. If I remember that correctly.

        • mikeypizzalover


  • dark_link121

    i think someone is jealous…

  • herooftwilight

    lol yea sony trying to hurt ninten on the test run many tried and disliked the vita so there trying to hurt nintenda also sony basically stole the motion control from nintendo along with close to the wii remote style just with a little ball at the nunchuck and controler so if any company should sue another it should be nintendo sueing sony

  • herooftwilight

    srry for misspells typing on wii while computers being fixed

    • ganonlord

      Apology accepted. If you get in a situation like that again, I'd recommend getting a keyboard for the Wii. Or course, if you currently have a usb keyboard, that'll work as well. You should try posting on a forum using the old DS lite browser. Not fun.

  • xxx

    hahahaha i cant believe that sony is this jealous of Nintendo

  • I assume he's taking action alone as opposed to actually being connected to Sony while going through with this…? Or will he take legal advice from them as it's for their mutual benefit?

    • mikeypizzalover

      Yah, If he was acting on part with Sony, they would not bother, 'cuz by now they know they would get crushed

  • Goldeblade

    what a DISGRACE! how DARE they sue nintendo for something that is rightfully theirs. sony's already got 25% of my fellow students on their side, with 70% obsessed over microsoft and "call of duty." cut nintendo some slack! microsoft needs to stick to computers, and there is no proof that sony is better than nintendo. i say they're all equal.

    • poemaster

      Yeah Nintendo is right there with them and they only do video games while Sony does tvs, audio equipment and tons of other stuff and Microsoft's game consoles are computers that were intentionally made not to do much besides play games, movies, music, and charge for internet you already have.

      • Goldeblade

        exactly! it's like racism among game systems!

    • mikeypizzalover

      For my school, its more like 99.9%, spead equaly between the two. Some of my friends and I make up the other.1%. So, like 5 people prefer Nintendo.

  • Dood

    My goodness, what is this guy thinking!? What does he expect to win? I was getting interested until the word "Sony" appeared.

  • naruto12668

    Yep Sony is just jealous that good ol Nintendo came out with the 3D technology inside a gaming device first. Mr. Tomita you are (oh wait whats the word i'm looking for oh yeah) a dumbass!

  • Trolldad
  • Soulless Creature

    Sony is dull compared to Nintendo funland of insperation and innovation. I mean look at the PS1 Rip off of the SNES controller, PS2 Meh lats just make it use better graphics, PS3 Ok lets make it use better graphics and give it an extra button and give it some brilliant stuff that microsoft thought of, PSM Now then lets rip off the Wiimote and Nunchuck. Nintendo = new with different controls. Sony = lets rip off and maybe add a new button or controll stick or two.

  • Soulless Creature

    Sony might have but they didn't think of 3D without glasses first (hahahahahahaha sorry I know they didn't they can't innovate at all) but Nintendo did it first so Sony can go and cry about being the losers in which they have became after trying to sue Nintendo.

  • Ashmic

    keyword "again"

  • nintendo warrior12

    OKAY, thts so stupid cuz nintendo oringinally made the motion controlled wii remote thn sony had tocreate the move and thn microsoft the kinect, so y is nintendo being sued for stuff like the 3d thing, well if i was nintendo id never ever follow through with tht law suit since sony and kinect basically copied off of nintendo WII…screw them nintendo doesnt need to b sued for crap……sorry sony but once i owned ur so called amazind PSP it broke down in about only two months without me playing it all tht much, and the ds lite i still have it fully opperated since the time it came out till this very DAY!!!!

    • Soulless Creature

      I agree with the PSM being a rip off of the wiimote but I think Kinect is a new and unthought of way of control but I have one problem with Kinect; Sonic freeriders, I know this is a Zelda fansite but I enjoy playing the Sonic riders games and Kinect ruined the third one and the worst part is Sonic freeriders is not for the Wii.
      P.S Why isn't there a Zelda spin off racing game? that would be so cool.

      • nintendo warrior12

        tht actually wuld b cool wuldnt u think?

  • robotortoise

    This is just silly. It's not the first time glasses-free 3D has been implemented; it's just the first time it's been done successfully, and now this guy wants to sue a company with hundreds of lawyers? This guy needs to set his limits. All he's gonna end up doing is wasting money on lawyers. For years companies have copied one another and never successfully sued: Slanket/Snuggie, Wii/Sony Move, ect.

  • manga ninja

    This guy is against a WHOLE COMPANY also they designed the 3ds and that guy didnt.This make this case useless.

  • Trolls IRL. They exist.

  • devoid

    desperation anyone?

  • You know what? I think that Sony should be sued for stolen technology for PS Move, I mean that was totally stolen from Wii.

  • Ze orror

    HE. Somebodies jealous….