Haptic game controller patent suit finally draws to a close

Immersion, the corporation which owns patents for haptic technologies used in the automotive, industrial, medical, and entertainment fields, will have to pay Microsoft $20.75 million to finally end litigation that began over six years ago.

In 2002, Immersion sued both Microsoft and Sony for allegedly using its patented technology in game controllers that vibrate in response to on-screen action. Microsoft and Sony took divergent routes in dealing with the suit. Microsoft chose to settle out of court, while Sony defended its controllers.

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In Microsoft's settlement terms, it sublicensed the technology for $26 million in exchange for a 15-20% cut of whatever Immersion got from the Sony suit. When Sony agreed to settle the case for $121 million, Immersion attempted to sidestep having to pay Microsoft, saying it was not obligated under its agreement with Sony.

Microsoft, naturally filed suit to get its money. Immersion then countersued, saying that Microsoft breached a 2007 confidentiality agreement.

Today, Immersion finally announced that it will settle with Microsoft, paying $20.75 million and joining the Certified Partner Program. Other conditions of the settlement were not disclosed.

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