A jury, which meets over Zoom, has unanimously voted against Valve in a lawsuit over a patent infringement case with Steam Controller and awarded $ 4 million in damages to Ironburg Inventions and SCUF. The original complaint was filed in 2015 in a Washington court.
SCUF and Ironburg Inventions, subsidiaries of the computer company Corsair, are known for their custom, “high-performance” video game controllers – which specialize in both accessories and custom equipment. SCUF has 105 patents for its designs, according to the website, many of which are related to its special trigger mechanisms. The “backside control surfaces”
It was a similar technology that SCUF licensed to Microsoft in 2015 for use on its Xbox Elite controllers. The company also partnered with Sony in 2018 on a PlayStation 4 controller that included four rear paddles and its signature shutter extensions.
SCUF’s lawyers claimed that Valve deliberately ignored the patents and SCUF’s warnings, and continued with its infringing Steam Controller.
“Valve knew that its conduct posed an unreasonable risk of infringement, but it simply continued to infringe anyway,” said SCUF attorney Robert Becker during the trial, as reported by Law360. “The classic David and Goliath story – Goliath does what Goliath wants to do.”
On Tuesday, SCUF owner Corsair announced that they had won their lawsuit against Valve after years in the court system. The jury agreed unanimously on all allegations, including that the violation was “intentional”, which means that Corsair may be responsible for more than the original fine, which is over 4 million dollars.
Valve’s Steam Controller has been discontinued for a while – and officially sold out in 2019 following a deal that offered the controller $ 5.
Last week, Valve was hit by a potential class action lawsuit alleging that the company has violated antitrust rules. Five defendants filed the complaint against a “Most Favored Nations” clause in their contracts with game developers. This prevents game developers from selling their games on other platforms at lower prices than on Steam, according to the complaint. This is on top of a total fine of 7.8 million euros issued by Valve and five gaming publishers by the European Commission, after the commission found that the companies violated antitrust rules on “geo-blocking”.