Valve has officially received its first official lawsuit over patent issues from Immersion. The act is, as The Verge aptly describes it, a rite of passage for the Half-Life and Steam platform owner, given that it is now big enough to get away with building its own gaming hardware.
The lawsuit from Immersion accuses Valve of infringing on the former’s patents with the Steam Deck handheld, the Valve Index VR platform, SteamVR software, and Half Life: Alyx, among other titles. For the alleged infringements, Immersion is asking for compensation in the form of damages, royalties, plus an injunction against Valve fro “deploying, operating, maintaining, testing, and using the Accused Handheld Instrumentalities, and Accused VR Instrumentalities”.
For a bit of background, Immersion is a haptic feedback company that is known for developing and acquiring virtually every patent on rumble technology in the current market. In other words, it was only a matter of time before Valve fell square in the company’s crosshairs, especially given that the aforementioned products all use rumble technology in one form or another. Specifically, the company is citing infringements on seven different patents.
Valve isn’t the first company to be slapped with lawsuits from Immersion. Before it came along, the rumble company also got into a row with both Sony and Microsoft, with the end result being that the latter two brands settled by licensing Immersion’s patent portfolio. Meta is currently tied up in a lawsuit with the company since last year, while Nintendo seemed to have narrowly escaped a lawsuit. On that last point, the gaming brand also now licenses its technology in the Switch, as does Sony too with its DualSense controller.
It is ironic that Valve is getting sued for allegedly infringing on rumble technology, given that one, it technically uses a different form of rumble than the ones Nintendo and Sony got sued for all those years ago. That being said, it is also a known fact that companies have been known to sue other entities for far less, and even for matters that bear no relevance to the subject of their grief.
At the time of writing, Valve hasn’t provided a response to Immersion’s lawsuit.
(Source: Google Patents       , The Verge)
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