Valve has been sued by Immersion Corporation because the latter believes that the person in charge of Steam has infringed its patents related to its haptic vibration technology in the Steam Deck, theValve Index VR platform, the Steam VR software and video games such as Half- Life: Alyx . It is not the first time that Immersion Corporation has sued a video game or technology giant for the same reason, and looking at the precedents, it is normal for it to get away with it.
Immersion has requested through the lawsuit an injunction against Valve so that it ” does not implement, operate, maintain, test and use the defendant portable instruments and the defendant virtual reality instruments “, in addition to the typical compensation for damages and damages that accompany this type of process. In his argument he mentioned seven patents that were registered between 2002 and 2016.
As we have already said, the history shows that possibly the best thing for Valve is to reach an agreement with Immersion as soon as possible, since the plaintiff company has apparently managed to twist reality to get away with it. Sony and Microsoft ended up licensing Immersion’s patents in the past, which were later joined by Apple, Google, Motorola and Fitbit .
The alleged “reality twist” comes if we say that Nintendo and Sony use different vibration technologies that are also used by Valve, but even with that the two Japanese video game giants decided to jump through hoops and license Immersion’s patents to avoid trouble. Although the Rumble Pack for the Nintendo 64 controller is supposed to have escaped lawsuits, now its vibration technology is licensed from Immersion technology .
So, seeing the victories that the plaintiff has achieved, and as we have already said, everything suggests that the best thing for Valve will be to reach an agreement as soon as possible. On the other hand, it is worth mentioning that Immersion Corporation has been accused on several occasions of being a patent troll.
The Steam Controller hasn’t been in demand possibly because it was discontinued years ago and it’s not like it was a huge commercial success either. However, the failed controller recently cost Valve a lawsuit by Ironburg Inventions, a company that accused the head of Steam of infringing a patent of its 2014 with the inclusion of the rear buttons. The jury in that case found Valve guilty of infringing Ironburg Inventions’ patent and awarded $4 million in damages.