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Judgment Against Nintendo Overturned

November 07, 1996|Times Staff and Wire Reports

A federal appeals court overturned a jury verdict that ordered Nintendo Co. to pay $253 million for patent infringement. With interest, the company could have been forced to pay nearly $300 million to tiny Alpex Computer Corp. for a technology allegedly used in the hugely popular Nintendo Entertainment System game device, Nintendo of America Chairman Howard Lincoln said. But in a 16-page decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington overturned the jury's decision that the Alpex patent had been infringed. "It's a complete victory," Lincoln said. "I think our nightmare with these folks is over." Alpex, which Lincoln described as a bankrupt mining concern, filed suit in 1986, charging Nintendo's 8-bit game device used a patented "bitmapping" display technology patented by two Alpex engineers in 1977.

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