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Immersion Corporation, which has a history of suing major hardware manufacturers, has filed a lawsuit against the company.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

May 17, 2023

1 Min Read
A close-up render of the Steam Deck's thumbstick and buttons

Valve is being sued by haptic feedback company Immersion Corporation over its use of rumble in the Steam Deck and Valve Index VR headset.

As highlighted by The Verge, Immersion claims Valve has infringed on its haptic tech patents (of which there are many) with the Steam Deck and Valve Index, which incorporate rumble technology and support titles with haptic feedback features.

Specifically, the company claims Valve has been "capitalizing on Immersion's innovation and success by selling and otherwise monetizing video game systems, controllers, games, and applications that infringe on Immersions's patents."

It also suggests the presence of haptic tech in both the Steam Deck and Valve Index provides users with a "richer and more immersive" experience.

Immersion is seeking damages, royalties, and an injunction that would prevent Valve from "deploying, operating, maintaining, testing, and using the Accused Handheld Instrumentalities and Accused VR Instrumentalities (Steam Index)."

This isn't the first time Immersion has taken aim a major hardware manufacturer, with the company having prevously sued Sony, Microsoft, Google, and Apple. All four of those companies settled with Immersion.

Although Nintendo hasn't been sued by the licensor, the Japanese company did sign an agreement with Immersion to bring its tech to the Switch.

It's still early days for Valve as far as the Steam Deck is concerned–the console only debuted in February 2022–but analysts predict the handheld will have sold over 3.5 million units by the end of 2023.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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