Immersion Corporation has been suing companies over its rumble haptic technology since at least (checks archives) 2004, and now it has a new company in its sights. Immersion has accused Valve of infringing its patents with the Steam Deck handheld, the Valve Index VR platform, Steam VR software and games including Half-Life: Alyx, The Verge has reported.
Immersion wants an injunction against Valve “from deploying, operating, maintaining, testing and using the Accused Handheld Instrumentalities and Accused VR Instrumentalities,” it stated in some fine legalese, and is asking for damages and royalties as well. It cited seven specific patents dating from 2002 to 2016.
If Valve wants to fight this, they’ve got a mountain of precedent to overcome. Both Sony and Microsoft ended up licensing Immersion’s patents after settling lawsuits, and Apple, Google, Motorola and Fitbit did the same. Nintendo and Sony use a different form of rumble tech, but both elected to license Immersion’s patents. Valve uses the same type of rumble tech as Nintendo and Sony.
It appears that Immersion didn’t sue Valve for its Steam Controller, which was killed back in 2019. The Steam Deck appears to be a much bigger success in terms of sales, however, and has generally been a hit with both critics and gamers.