The gavel has come down against Nintendo following a court ruling that the Kyoto-based company infringed on a patent in the creation of its glasses-free 3D tech. As a result Nintendo must pay 1.82 per cent of the wholesale price of every 3DS sold to patent holder Tomita Technologies.
As reported by Law 360 (via NeoGAF), this comes down to about $3 (£2) per unit at the moment. Initially, Tomita wanted Nintendo to pay a flat fee per unit sold, but Judge Rakoff decided that would be too generous to Tomita as the price of the handheld will natural decrease over time.
"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," said Judge 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."
Given that the massively popular handheld has already sold 35 million units, this'll still set Nintendo back $105 million and counting. Not the news it needed after its Wii U only shifted 3.91 million units worldwide at of the end of Q3 2013, while its lifelong UK sales were only 150K a month ago.
This is the second time Nintendo's had to pay up following a 3DS patent infringement charge against Tomita. In March Nintendo lost a lawsuit against the technology corporation and was ordered to pay $30.2 million, though this was later changed to only $15.1 million.
We've contacted Nintendo to see if it will comment on the lawsuit and if it intends to fight the ruling further.