Valve Loses Steam Controller Patent Lawsuit, Owes $4 Million

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A jury has voted unanimously against Valve in a trial over a patent infringement case focused on the Steam Controller. The verdict awarded $4 million in damages to SCUF and Ironburg Inventions, four years after the original complaint was filed in a Washington court.

Both SCUF and Ironburg Inventions are subsidiaries of Corsair, which is known for its specialization in computer and gaming accessories and customized gear. According to its website, SCUF holds 105 patents for its designs, most of which pertain to its unique trigger and back paddle mechanisms. This is what the case was actually about, with opening arguments in the trial citing “rear-side control surfaces” as the source of the tension. From SCUF’s point of view, Valve wrongfully replicated its controller body back paddles.

Companies licensing these back paddle designs for their own controllers isn’t a new thing. Both Microsoft and Sony have partnered with SCUF in the past to create controllers with the signature back paddles and trigger extenders. But that’s the problem: According to SCUF’s lawyers, Valve didn’t go through the proper channels to use SCUF paddles and triggers on their controllers, and willfully disregarded both the patents and SCUF’s warnings about the infringing Steam Controller.

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