It seems that not everyone is happy about Nintendo's magical, 3D-capable rectangle; in fact, one concerned corporate citizen aims to take its displeasure to the legal system. Tomita Technologies, started by an ex-Sony engineer "who after retiring from Sony after 30 years, went on to research and invent nearly 70 patents, and over 100 patent applications, since 2002," has filed suit in New York district court over the 3DS's autostereoscopic screen. Information is scant, but we know that the furor finds its origin in U.S. Patent No. 7,417,664, the esoterically-named "Stereoscopic Image Picking Up and Display System Based Upon Optical Axes Cross-Point Information." -- or in prole speak, a 3DS, or a the very least 3DS-like, screen.
From Patent Arcade:
Tomita alleges that Nintendo's 3DS system, which launched in the U.S. in March, infringes on the '664 patent. The 3DS system allows for gameplay featuring real 3-D graphics, with no need for special glasses. According to the Sony website, as cited in the complaint, 3DS achieves this by using two outer cameras to see the world in 3-D, mimicking the human eye. Tomita alleges that Nintendo is willfully infringing on its '664 patent in order to make 3DS possible. The complaint does not detail how 3DS, a hand-held gaming system, infringes the patent.
Having approximately zero knowledge of the legal system, or the labyrinth of pain in which it makes its home, I can't speak to the validity of his claims, or the viability of receiving some kind of compensation - even "please go away" money. It's tempting to cite the prospect of the aforementioned "seriously, I said beat it" money as a way to cash in, particularly when the suit was filed June 22nd, and the fact that Nintendo intended for a "glasses free" 3D experience wasn't exactly a well-kept secret. Further complicating matters is the fact that 3D glasses have long been a barrier to the embrace of that elusive third dimension, and companies have undoubtedly been vying to milk this 3D renaissance for every dollar it's worth - in an ideal world, Nintendo just happened to get there before the plaintiff.
In any event, one can rest assured that Nintendo has a building full of lawyers at its disposal should a legal battle ensue, so this has the potential to be interesting.