Sony Ends Game Controller Dispute
Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and Immersion Corp. have agreed to play together nicely in the computer gaming market.
The two companies said Friday that a five-year-old legal battle between them was settled and that they will explore ways to use Immersion's technology in PlayStation products.
The spat between the two began in February 2002 when Immersion slapped Sony and Microsoft Corp. with lawsuits that alleged infringement of patents held by Immersion on so-called "haptic" technology. Haptic technology lets users receive touch feedback from electronic devices and Immersion said the feedback systems built into controllers infringed on its technology.
Microsoft settled the case in 2003 with a one-time payment of US$20 million and the purchase of a roughly 10 percent stake in Immersion for $6 million. But Sony decided to fight on.
That decision has proved to be costly.
In March 2005, Judge Claudia Wilken of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that Sony did infringement on two Immersion patents and ordered the company to pay US$82 million plus an additional $8.7 million in interest.
Sony appealed the verdict but Friday's agreement between the two companies will see Sony pay Immersion that money. Additional financial aspects of the agreement between the two companies were not disclosed.
In a joint statement Sony said it was "very excited" about the new partnership and looks forward " to exploring with Immersion exciting new ways to bring the largest and best range of game play experiences to our customers."