Gamasutra is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
June 24, 2021
arrowPress Releases

If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:

Valve on the hook for $4 million over Steam Controller patent infringement

Valve on the hook for $4 million over Steam Controller patent infringement

February 2, 2021 | By Alissa McAloon

February 2, 2021 | By Alissa McAloon
    Post A Comment
More: Console/PC

A court has ordered Valve to pay $4 million at the close of a patent infringement lawsuit filed against it by Ironburg Inventions over the design of its now-discontinued Steam Controller.

According to a report from (via VGC), a jury found that Valve willfully infringed on a patent held by Ironburg Inventions through its design of the Steam Controller

Specifically, the Steam Controller included a pair of buttons along its back that could players could press with the fingers resting on the controller grips. Other controllers have licensed and included that functionality, but the jury found that Valve used that concept for its Steam Controller without going through the proper channels, and thus in a way that infringed on the Ironburg patent.

As highlighted by VGC, Ironburg's defense called out the fact that it had warned Valve about the patent shortly after the Steam Controller was revealed in 2014, but "simply proceeded to infringe anyway — the classic David and Goliath story: Goliath does what Goliath wants to do."

The Steam Controller itself was discontinued in 2019 and, according to the lawsuit, sold around 1.6 million units during its lifetime. In addition to its infringing back-buttons, the controller was defined by its two tactile trackpads used in lieu of the typical dual-joystick setup favored by other controllers.

Related Jobs

Zing Games Inc.
Zing Games Inc. — Naperville, Illinois, United States

Gameplay Programmer
Infinity Ward / Activision
Infinity Ward / Activision — Woodland Hills, California, United States

Expert Gameplay Engineer
Housemarque — Helsinki, Finland

Writer (contract)
Treyarch / Activision
Treyarch / Activision — Santa Monica, California, United States

Senior Technical Character Artist

Loading Comments

loader image