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Valve on trial over Steam Controller patent infringement allegations

Published: 11:35, 28 January 2021
Valve's Steam Controller
Valve's Steam Controller

Valve are really ending up in the news for wrong reasons these days, and this time it's no different as the House of GabeN ended up in a jury trial over patent infringement.

The trial began on Tuesday via Zoom, with Valve having to prove that their Steam Controller did not in fact infringe on the patent belonging to Ironburg Inventions, the plaintiff. 

Ironburg Inventions insist Valve were warned in 2014 that the rear-side control surfaces on the Steam Controller prototype have just been patented by the former. In spite of this, they claim, Steam Controllers went into production and sold around 1.6 million units.

"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", Ironburg's lawyer Robert Becker said. 

Valve were reportedly contacted after their CES Steam Controller showcase by the CEO of Ironburg's parent company, Duncan Ironmonger, but to no avail.

As for Valve, they dismiss the allegations as purely that, allegations, practically arguing that the case is nothing but a scam. 

"Ironburg's case will be based on altered graphics, modified pictures, and skewed viewing angles ... and then they'll ask you to make that decision based on an altered reality", Valve's lawyer Trent Webb said. 

Valve Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and Steam controllers Steam controllers

Ultimately Valve are certain that the jury will side with them once they see Steam Controller with their own eyes, as they think it proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that these are different devices. "Alternative reality has no place here", Valve's lawyer added. 

Thanks, Law360

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