Immersion Corporation, the renowned haptic feedback company, has set its sights on Valve, accusing the tech giant of infringing its patents with several of its gaming products. The Steam Deck handheld, Valve Index VR platform, SteamVR software, and popular game titles like Half-Life: Alyx are among the products targeted in the lawsuit.
With a long history of suing companies over its rumble haptic technology, Immersion brought Valve into its legal crosshairs. In its complaint filed on Monday in the Western District of Washington, the company cited seven specific patents ranging from 2002 to 2016. These include patents 7,336,260, 8,749,507, 9,430,042, 9,116,546, 10,627,907, 10,665,067, and 11,175,738. Immersion is seeking an injunction prohibiting Valve from deploying, operating, maintaining, testing, and use of the handheld and VR instrumentalities. Additionally, Immersion is pursuing damages and royalties.
Valve now faces a challenging legal battle, given the extensive precedent set by other tech giants. After engaging in legal disputes, companies such as Sony and Microsoft opted to license Immersion's patent portfolio. Similarly, Apple, Google, Motorola, and Fitbit also settled and obtained licenses. Even Meta, previously known as Facebook, has been entangled in an ongoing lawsuit with Immersion since a year ago. Interestingly, Nintendo, which utilizes a different form of rumble technology, managed to evade the lawsuit. This could be because Nintendo developed its own Rumble Pak tech for the Nintendo 64. However, even Nintendo now licenses Immersion's technology.
It is worth noting that Immersion did not include Valve's discontinued Steam Controller in its lawsuit. Instead, the focus is on the Steam Deck, which has achieved considerable success in terms of sales. The Steam Deck has also garnered positive reviews from critics and gamers alike.
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