After a week of trial, the verdict is in: Valve must pay damages to Ironburg Inventions for violating a patent filed on the rear triggers of its controller.
This week, Valve received its verdict regarding the alleged patent infringement on its Steam Controller. The trial has been going on all last week and it hasn’t ended very well for Valve. The company found itself in this situation because Ironburg Inventions, a branch of the company SCUF Gaming, accused it of having infringed a patent filed in 2011. According to the latter, Valve would have voluntarily copied the triggers to the back of the SCUF professional controller, today its trademark. By marketing the Steam ControllerValve had in fact integrated a similar system at the back of the controller. The Steam Controller was released in 2015 and has discontinued in 2019, with just over 1.5 million copies sold.
Valve defended themselves by explaining that the triggers on the Steam Controller and SCUF controllers were not alike, but the jury decided otherwise. They found that there were more similarities than differences between the two controllers, ordering Valve to pay $ 4 million in damages to Ironburg Inventions. Even if this sum falls in the lower range of the sum requested by the company, it could be that the creator of Steam has to pay even more than that. In fact, Valve had received several warnings regarding the similarity to the Ironburg Inventions patent but had decided to ignore them and build and market its controller anyway. The court therefore ruled that the patent infringement was intentional, which could cost Valve even more.
Valve Software Wireless steam controller.
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