Consider it a rite of passage: Valve has been successful enough in making gaming hardware to finally be sued by Immersion Corporation.
Immersion — the haptic feedback company that has acquired, developed, or otherwise amassed so many patents on rumble technology that nearly every major tech company has licensed or settled out of court — is now partnering with Valve with its Steam Deck handheld. It accuses Valve of infringing its patents. Index VR platform, its SteamVR software and Half-Life: Alyx among other titles. There’s no mention of Valve’s long-gone Steam Controller, which also uses a lot of haptic feedback.
Immersion is seeking damages, royalties and injunctive relief against Valve “for the deployment, operation, maintenance, testing and use of the Accused Hand Tools and the Accused VR Tools.”
The company filed its complaint Monday in federal court, specifically in the Western District of Washington, citing patents 7,336,260, 8,749,507, 9,430,042, 9,116,546, 10,627,907, 10,665,067and 11,175,738.
Certainties: death, taxes, a dip claim if you use the rumble
Sony and Microsoft license Immersion’s patent portfolio after lawsuits and settlements. Apple, Google, Motorola and Fitbit are also featured. The meta is currently in the middle own Immersion claim, issued a year ago. Nintendo seems to have escaped the suitperhaps due to its own development of Rumble Pak technology for the Nintendo 64, but it also now licenses Immersion technology.
If you look at the individual patents I linked above, they are more nuanced than hardware. I’d be surprised if it was Valve doesn’t solve.