The gaming world is turned upside down as Immersion Corporation sues Valve, the company behind classics like Half-Life and the new Steam Deck. Immersion is known for its impressive haptic feedback technology, and its patents are in such high demand that every major tech company has licensed them. Now they accuse Valve of violating their patents!
Immersion claims are serious: they claim that Valve uses Patents With the portable Steam Deck, the Valve Index VR platform, SteamVR software, and even games like Half-Life: Alyx. This is a heavy blow for Valve, as the immersion not only demands damages, but also a licensing fee and an injunction against Valve. This means that they want to prevent Valve from continuing to use their accused devices. If you want to see exactly which patents are involved, see here here The Verge has listed all of the patents involved.
Litigation is taking place in a federal court in the Western District of Washington. Immersion is based on a large number of patents that have accumulated over time. Even Sony and Microsoft licensed their patent portfolios after similar legal battles. Apple, Google, Motorola and Fitbit have also reached an agreement with Immersion. Only Nintendo appears to have escaped a lawsuit so far, possibly over its Rumble-Pak technology. However, now Nintendo is also licensing the immersion technology.
Valve plans a new headset called “Deckard”
You’d think Valve would be lucky, since their hardware uses a different kind of rumble technology than other companies have been sued for. But the funny thing is, Nintendo still made a deal with Immersion to bring its technology to the Switch. Sony’s popular DualSense controller also uses immersion technology. So Valve could still get into trouble.
It remains exciting to see how this legal dispute plays out. Valve has not yet responded to The Verge’s requests for comment. Meanwhile, the Steam Deck continues to conquer the gaming world, topping the Steam Weekly Bestseller. Valve seems to have been a real hit, possibly selling over a million units. But that’s not all, as Valve is already considering a possible successor and rumors of a new headset codenamed “Deckard” are making the rounds. So, as gaming fans, we can look forward to many exciting developments!
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