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Microsoft sues Immersion for “settlement agreement” with Sony. August 2, 2007

Posted by stvchang in gaming news, PS3, Xbox360.
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The whole rumble saga started in 2002 when Immersion (the company which owns the patents on force-feed back for controllers) starts suing SCEI, SCEA and Microsoft for patent breach, as their console (PS2 and Xbox) controllers support rumble technology from Immersion. Microsoft paid Immersion in July 2003 (with license for future products, AKA Xbox360, to the tune of US$26million for infringement and future licence, and a 10% stake in the company), while Sony chose to meet Immersion in the courts. Sony lost the case and appealed.

Early 2007, Sony dropped the appeal and paid Immersion US$150 million (US$127.8 million for patent infringement and US$22.5 million for future license till 2009) and released a joint statement on 1st March 2007, announcing that Sony and Immersion had “agreed to conclude their patent litigation at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and have entered into a new business agreement to explore the inclusion of Immersion technology in PlayStation format products”, the exact words.

Microsoft is now suing Immersion for breach of legal agreement as apparently, there is a clause in Microsoft’s agreement in 2003 that states Microsoft will be liable for payments if Sony decides to “settle” their case with Immersion. It is the term “settlement agreement” that is in the middle of this case, as Immersion and Sony have used the term “concluded their patent litigation” instead of settlement. The case of word interpretation is going ahead in the land of Us-Sue-All (USA)…. hahaha.

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