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Immersion Corp. Wins Suit Against Sony

Immersion Corp., which develops and licenses touch-feedback technology sometimes used in game controllers, has won a patent infringement suit against Sony over two contes...
Immersion Corp., which develops and licenses touch-feedback technology sometimes used in game controllers, has won a patent infringement suit against Sony over two contested patents that Sony inadvertently violated in its Dual Shock controllers for PlayStation and PlayStation 2. Judge Claudia Wilken of the U.S. District Court levied an $82 million award to Immersion Corp., or 1.37% of Sony's sales of PlayStations and PlayStation-related paraphernalia. The $82 million is less than the $299 million originally sought by Immersion Corp., but the court ruled that Sony's infringement of the vibration patents was not willful and therefore not deserving of the full penalties. Judge Wilken also denied Immersion Corp.'s request for an injunction of sales on the offending items, and deemed that both the plaintiff and defendant must pay their own attorney's fees. However, Sony didn't get off lightly: going forward, they will continue to pay a license fee on sales of PlayStation goods that use Immersion Corp.'s patents. The suit was first filed by Immersion Corp. in 2002, four years after the introduction of the original Dual Shock controller for the first PlayStation. After the ruling, shares of both companies went up: Immersion Corp.'s by 15.2% and Sony's by 0.6%.

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