Consider it a rite of passage: Valve has finally become so successful at building gaming hardware that it’s being sued by Immersion Corporation.
Immersion — the haptic feedback company that has bought, developed, or otherwise accumulated so many patents on rumble technology that almost every major tech company has licensed or settled out of court — is now accusing Valve of infringing his patents include the Steam Deck handheld, the Valve Index VR platform, the SteamVR software, and Half-life: Alyx among other titles. There’s been no mention of Valve’s long-gone Steam Controller, which also used a lot of haptic feedback.
Immersion is seeking damages, royalties and an injunction against Valve “from deploying, operating, maintaining, testing and using the Accused Handheld Instrumentalities and Accused VR Instrumentalities”.
The company filed its complaint Monday in federal court, specifically the Western District of Washington, citing patents 7,336,260, 8,749,507, 9,430,042, 9,116,546, 10,627,907, 10,665,067 and 11,175. 738.
Things that are certain: death, taxes, a lawsuit against submersion if you use rumble
Sony and Microsoft are both licensing Immersion’s patent portfolio, following lawsuits and settlements. Apple, Google, Motorola and Fitbit also settled. Meta is currently in the middle of its own Immersion lawsuit, which was filed a year ago. Nintendo seems to have escaped a lawsuit, perhaps due to its own development of Rumble Pak technology for the Nintendo 64, but it is now licensing Immersion technology as well.
And if you look at the individual patents I link above, they’re much more nuanced than hardware. I’d be surprised if Valve not arrange.