Valve to pay $4 million to Corsair in Steam Controller patent infringement lawsuit

Humza

Posts: 825   +161
Staff member
What just happened? A jury has unanimously found willful infringement on Valve's part regarding the use of "rear-side control surfaces" (or back paddles) on its Steam Controller and ordered the company to pay $4 million in damages to Corsair-owned Ironburg Inventions and SCUF.

Ironburg Inventions and SCUF, the Corsair-owned maker of high-end performance controllers and holders of an "extensive patent portfolio," had warned Valve in 2014 regarding its Steam Controller design, accusing it of copying the paddle/trigger mechanism located on the gadget's backside.

A lawsuit followed a year later when Valve officially released the Steam Controller in 2015, ignoring these warnings and going on to produce 1.6 million units before discontinuing the hardware in 2019. In an announcement this week, Corsair revealed the verdict going in its favor, with Valve ordered by the US District Court in Washington to pay $4 million in damages after the jury unanimously found it guilty of willful infringement.

Microsoft licensed SCUF's patents for the Xbox Elite controller that came with interchangeable paddles on the rear

SCUF's lawyers likened the scenario to David and Goliath, accusing Valve of abusing its dominance and proceeding with the controller design despite knowing the risk. "Valve did know that its conduct involved an unreasonable risk of infringement, but it simply proceeded to infringe anyway — the classic David and Goliath story: Goliath does what Goliath wants to do," noted SCUF lawyer Rober Becker. Valve's lawyer, meanwhile, argued that the Steam Controller's design didn't fit the outlines of the patent, claiming that the plaintiff wanted a decision based on an altered reality.

A $4 million fine is chump change for a behemoth like Valve, though it'll probably want to avoid such legal setbacks in the future as it continues to work on a potential successor of the Steam Controller.

Permalink to story.

 

fadingfool

Posts: 219   +223
So have Corsair turned into Patent Trolls (didn't acquire SCRUF until after the steam controller was discontinued)? There is nothing particularly novel about having buttons where your fingers are placed on a controller - is it because of this patent that more controllers don't have them? I would suggest an ocarina is proof of prior art.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 3,293   +1,472
This is what happens when you don't give something your all. This doesn't surprise me considering how bad Steam Machines bombed.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 3,293   +1,472
So have Corsair turned into Patent Trolls (didn't acquire SCRUF until after the steam controller was discontinued)? There is nothing particularly novel about having buttons where your fingers are placed on a controller - is it because of this patent that more controllers don't have them? I would suggest an ocarina is proof of prior art.
"A jury has unanimously found willful infringement on Valve's part..."

I know I'd care of it was my patent. Or else why have them. I'd be even happier if it was unanimous.

Valve was warned in 2014. So there's that.
 

stewi0001

Posts: 2,574   +2,167
Honestly, all of the patent lawsuits turns me off from trying to invent something. I feel like you will screwed by either someone claiming that you are infringing on theirs or yours gets infringed.
 

Bullwinkle M

Posts: 454   +350
This is an "OBVIOUS" improvement that cannot be patented

The jury is WRONG!

This is like getting a patent on audio sampling

Everyone and their mother invented audio sampling the minute audio CD's were sold

Spit on the disc and insert into a Sony CD player

POOF! You just invented audio sampling as soon as the skipping begins and negates any prior patent

Prior patents may have been valid back when it was "NON-OBVIOUS" but are invalidated by future technology once it becomes the present (or current) technology

I should know because I too invented audio sampling by.....
1. spitting on a disc and let dry
2. play them on a Sony SkipMaster CD player (not a Denon, as they don't skip)
3. record the best skips on a porta studio
4. mix the best repeated skips in with the song you are doing
Easy
------------------------------------------------------------------------
By the way......
Did every race car driver in the World get a notice that paddles on the back of their steering wheels violate this patent?

If you try hard enough, you will find many other examples of why this patent is unenforceable garbage and violates several examples of prior art
 
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kapital98

Posts: 347   +283
"A jury has unanimously found willful infringement on Valve's part..."

I know I'd care of it was my patent. Or else why have them. I'd be even happier if it was unanimous.

Valve was warned in 2014. So there's that.

This will likely be tied up in appeals for years. Legal cease and desist letters happen all the time as well.

It's not like this is an individual who's fighting to preserve their patent. This is one large corporation suing another large corporation. In the end, the legal fees will be far more than the award.

Keep in mind, appeals take years, continue to add to legal fees, and, even if unsuccessful, often find the jury incorrectly calculated damages (which almost always leads to a lower award).

This win is basically good PR for Corsair.