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Valve ordered to pay $4 million for Steam Controller patent infringement

Published: 20:48, 02 February 2021
Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and Steam controllers
Steam controllers

Going into the trial, Valve were pretty confident that the case against Ironburg Inventions will be dismissed, but the jury has found them guilty and ordered the company to pay $4 million.

The trial also happened to be the first-ever patent infringement jury trial that was conducted via Zoom, although we doubt that milestone will matter much to Valve. 

Ironburg Inventions, a subsidiary of SCUF Gaming, accused Valve of patent infringement with Steam Controllers. They claimed that Valve were notified of what they're doing on several occasions but failed to comply, forcing them to take legal action. 

Ironburg's lawyer Robert Becker said at the time, "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!"

Valve were now found guilty and ordered to pay $4 million in damages, which seems to be in line with the sales. The company sold around 1.6 million Steam Controller units, so the sum sounds reasonable. 

Of course, the compensation shouldn't be an issue for Valve, who should be able to shell it out with ease. Nevertheless, one has to wonder how they didn't see it coming and settle before it came to a jury trial. 

Steam developer's lawyers were pretty confident ahead of the trial, practically arguing that Ironburg are merely trying to scam the jury into punishing Valve. 

Valve Valve's Steam Controller Valve's Steam Controller

"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 at the time.

Thanks, VGC .

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