Although Valve has not been selling the Steam Controller for some time, there is now an expensive aftermath. A court sentenced the manufacturer to a fine in the amount of four million US dollars due to breach of a design patent owned by SCUF. The manufacturer is known for its modifiable and custom PlayStation and Xbox controllers.
The trial between Valve and Ironburg Inventions, a company specifically handling SCUF’s patents, began in late January. Well, so the website reports Law.com
Incidentally, it is not the first time this year that Valve has had to pay a heavy fine. Just a few weeks ago, the EU was punished, against which the company is still defending itself:
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After an EU million fine for Steam: Now Valve is fighting back
Which patent is it about?
The focus of the lawsuit is a patent that SCUF and Ironburg filed in 2013. The patent describes additional operating elements on the back of a controller that the user can operate using his middle finger.
As early as 2014, when Valve first showed a prototype of the steam controller at the Consumer Electronics Show, Ironburg had issued a warning regarding the patent. However, Valve ignored this, according to Ironburg’s lawyers Law360.
“Valve knew that such behavior posed undue risk, but still committed the violation.”
Valve, in turn, saw no infringement of the patent as the buttons on the steam controller would be different from those on SCUF. However, the judge Thomas Zilly endorsed Ironburg’s reasoning and found a violation.
The jury followed the verdict. The fine could possibly be even higher because, according to the jury, the patent infringement was intentional.
You can see how the Steam Controller worked here in the video:
Steam Controller – This is how Valve’s gamepad revolution works
The future of the steam controller
Incidentally, this has no consequences for the sale of the Steam Controller, because Valve stopped production at the end of 2019. Since then, a continuation of Valve’s controller plans has been fairly quiet, despite the company filing a patent for a successor.
In the Plus Special, we analyze which path the company will take in the future:
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This is how Steam will change in 2021
It remains to be seen whether a new Steam Controller will be announced this year. However, that Valve has big plans for its sales platform is no longer news.