Ironburg Inventions, the company that successfully sued Valve for violating its patent when it developed the Steam Controller, is now seeking an additional $6.5 million in attorney’s fees as the lawsuit winds down, according to a report from Law360.
That’s on top of the $4 million in damages that a court charged against Valve all the way back in February. A jury found that Valve willfully infringed on a patent held by Ironburg Inventions through its design of the Steam Controller.
The patent violation dealt with the paddles on the back of the Steam Controller. Other developers have licensed Ironburg’s patent to add their own paddles. (Or sold them separately, like Sony does. Seriously, did you know they sold this?)
Ironburg told the jury that it had reached out to Valve in 2014 after the controller was revealed, but the company behind Steam rebuffed its advances and proceeded to release the controller anyway.
That dismissal of Ironburg’s advances appears to be part of the motivation for the additional demand for $6.5 million. Ironburg told the court that Valve pursued a “scorched earth tactics” policy in its legal defense, as the multi-million dollar company behind the biggest PC gaming platform in the world allegedly threw its weight around against the smaller controller maker over the last six years.
The Steam Controller was discontinued in 2019, but Valve’s march into the hardware world has lived on with the recent announcement of the Steam Deck.