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Nintendo's $30.2M infringement damages cut in half

A U.S. federal judge says that the company should pay only $15.1 million for infringement of a 3D patent, ruling the original award "intrinsically excessive."

CBS Interactive

Nintendo might end up paying less than expected for a patent infringement case.

U.S. Federal Judge Jed Rakoff ruled in a New York court on Wednesday that the company should only be forced to pay $15.1 million in damages to Seijiro Tomita, instead of the $30.2 million the man was originally awarded. If Tomita doesn't accept the new deal, he'll be forced to try his luck in a new damages trial and potentially risk getting nothing.

Tomita hit Nintendo with a lawsuit in 2011, alleging that the game-maker violated a patent he owns related to 3D technology. Tomita specifically cited the Nintendo 3DS as the infringing device, and earlier this year, was awarded $30.2 million in damages by a jury.

According to Reuters, which earlier reported on the hearing yesterday, the judge said that since the 3DS isn't profitable and many of its games don't rely on Tomita's patent, the award is "intrinsically excessive."

Tomita has until August 23 to decide whether he wants to take the reduced award or fight it out in another damages trial.