Thursday, February 4th 2021

Valve Ordered to Pay 4 Million USD in Damages to Corsair over Steam Controller Patent Infringement

Valve has recently been ordered to pay 4 million USD in damages after they knowingly infringed on patents owned by Ironburg Inventions with the Steam Controller rear grip button design. Ironburg Inventions is the IP-holding arm of controller manufacturer SCUF who was acquired by Corsair in late 2019. Valve was warned by Ironburg Inventions in 2014 that their Steam Controller infringed on their patent relating to rear-side control surfaces. Valve ignored the warning and went on to produce 1.6 million units before discontinuing the device in 2019. The Jury awarded Ironburg Inventions 4 million USD in damages and found that Valve willfully infringed on Ironberg's patents which opens them up to further litigation. Corsair has published a statement on the case which can be found below.
CorsairCorsair a leading global provider and innovator of high-performance gear for gamers and content creators and its subsidiaries Scuf Gaming and Ironburg Inventions Ltd., announce that on February 1, 2021 in the patent infringement case, Ironburg Inventions Ltd. v. Valve Corp, US District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle the jury unanimously found that Valve Corp infringed Ironburg's 8,641,525 controller patent and awarded Ironburg over $4 million. In addition, the jury unanimously found willful infringement by Valve Corp. The jury verdict of willful infringement is the first step to a potential award of enhanced damages up to the statutory limit of treble damages.
Source: Corsair
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45 Comments on Valve Ordered to Pay 4 Million USD in Damages to Corsair over Steam Controller Patent Infringement

#1
Mussels
Moderprator
This is dumb, corsair are definitely well known for their PC gaming controllers
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#2
VulkanBros
MusselsThis is dumb, corsair are definitely well known for their PC gaming controllers
Like your sarcasm
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#3
londiste
An improved controller (10) for a game console that is intended to be held by a user in both hands in the same manner as a conventional controller (1), which has controls on the front operable by the thumbs (2), (3), (4), (5), and has two additional controls (11) located on the back in positions to be operated by the middle fingers of a user.
So that is what they infringed - triggers in the back of the controller operated by middle fingers?
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#4
Dammeron
londisteSo that is what they infringed - triggers in the back of the controller operated by middle fingers?
Yep. I guess now Corsair will definitely attack MS for their Elite controller, and ask 4 million $ for each pair of paddles on the back. :P
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#5
Caring1
londisteSo that is what they infringed - triggers in the back of the controller operated by middle fingers?
Lol, I hope Sony Sue them all for infringement.
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#6
Esse
DammeronYep. I guess now Corsair will definitely attack MS for their Elite controller, and ask 4 million $ for each pair of paddles on the back. :p
Microsoft actually licensed it with Ironburg Inventions for $6M, Valve ignored them.
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#7
Lionheart
londisteSo that is what they infringed - triggers in the back of the controller operated by middle fingers?
Corsair were definitely triggered that's for sure........... :pimp:
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#8
TheLostSwede
MusselsThis is dumb, corsair are definitely well known for their PC gaming controllers
They bought SCUF gaming. I think you need to learn to read more than the headlines.
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#9
Mussels
Moderprator
DammeronYep. I guess now Corsair will definitely attack MS for their Elite controller, and ask 4 million $ for each pair of paddles on the back. :p
i read MS already paid for that privilege, and that's why the elite controllers are so expensive
TheLostSwedeThey bought SCUF gaming. I think you need to learn to read more than the headlines.
It's still dumb. patent law can be really stupid at times.
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#10
Haile Selassie
Musselsi read MS already paid for that privilege, and that's why the elite controllers are so expensive
Do you really think it is the license fee cost adder that makes Elite controller expensive? What do you think they have a run rate of 10k units annually or what? License fees are NREs and not a part of the BOM cost structure in any serious organization.
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#11
Mussels
Moderprator
Haile SelassieDo you really think it is the license fee cost adder that makes Elite controller expensive? What do you think they have a run rate of 10k units annually or what? License fees are NREs and not a part of the BOM cost structure in any serious organization.
I found articles literally saying it earlier in the day, that popped up on my phones news feed. They listed a few other controllers with rear buttons, and cited that they were all ridiculously expensive for what should be a common feature.
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#12
TheLostSwede
MusselsIt's still dumb. patent law can be really stupid at times.
Yes, but sadly the law is the law. It's being exploited to the extreme in the US, which I agree is stupid, but unless the government changes the system, it'll continue to happen.
At least this time around there is a company that makes products suing another company that makes products, rather than a patent troll suing loads of companies for something arbitrary using a very broadly written patent.
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#13
evernessince
Musselsi read MS already paid for that privilege, and that's why the elite controllers are so expensive



It's still dumb. patent law can be really stupid at times.
I just did some research on the topic and indeed Microsoft did pay a pretty penny. The patent system really needs a rework. It should not be possible to patent the location of buttons on a controller. I've looked at their original patent, it's nothing innovative. The actuation method is different in the Steam controller as well so apparently even if your design is different, just having those buttons in that spot regardless of how you implement them is a violation of these patent trolls.
TheLostSwedeYes, but sadly the law is the law. It's being exploited to the extreme in the US, which I agree is stupid, but unless the government changes the system, it'll continue to happen.
At least this time around there is a company that makes products suing another company that makes products, rather than a patent troll suing loads of companies for something arbitrary using a very broadly written patent.
Buying a patent troll to patent troll isn't better. In fact it's worse as Corsair has more weight it can throw behind it. Just another greedy AF company increasing the cost customers have to pay for no good reason.
Haile SelassieDo you really think it is the license fee cost adder that makes Elite controller expensive? What do you think they have a run rate of 10k units annually or what? License fees are NREs and not a part of the BOM cost structure in any serious organization.
Microsoft paid $6 million upfront (no idea about any per unit costs). Given the price tag of the elite controller, I'd say the cost of licensing this tech most certainly does factor into the cost. As is common with electronics, R&D / Licensing costs are factored into the price. This isn't common goods where only the BOM and cost of assembly are the only factors. FYI retail price is not BOM as you seem to have confused. Any company will factor ALL COSTS before determining an MSRP. Of course, the Elite controller is better in other ways as well, all of which also likely increased the cost.
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#14
Vayra86
What a yawnfest. Steambox is DOA and here we are talking about yesterdays controller pads.

I see only losers here
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#15
Mussels
Moderprator
Vayra86What a yawnfest. Steambox is DOA and here we are talking about yesterdays controller pads.

I see only losers here
Then why comment?

Sorry but i cant see what you wrote as anything other than trolling or shitposting.
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#16
Haile Selassie
evernessinceMicrosoft paid $6 million upfront (no idea about any per unit costs). Given the price tag of the elite controller, I'd say the cost of licensing this tech most certainly does factor into the cost. As is common with electronics, R&D / Licensing costs are factored into the price. This isn't common goods where only the BOM and cost of assembly are the only factors. FYI retail price is not BOM as you seem to have confused. Any company will factor ALL COSTS before determining an MSRP. Of course, the Elite controller is better in other ways as well, all of which also likely increased the cost.
You do realize the total project cost, ME & EE (just R&D billable hours, infrastructure, vendor qual, tooling costs) for the said controller is probably upwards of $50M USD? These are all NREs... But then the marketing associated budget is probably twice or thrice that. So yes, license fees are next to nothing in a console project with a total project costs upwards of $2B USD.
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#17
R0H1T
Just as an aside why the heck is MS' one called "elite" controller :wtf:

Does it spit unicorns out on the screen :shadedshu:
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#18
ZoneDymo
I get the need for patents but this....phew I will think twice about supporting Corsair with any purchase in the future.
MusselsThen why comment?

Sorry but i cant see what you wrote as anything other than trolling or shitposting.
well if you want to see trolling or shitposting I kindly point you to "Dicktracy"

I think they are just saying that Steam/Valve is a "loser" in this regard because their attempted project did not take off.
And Corsair is a loser for patent sueing steam of something as silly as this (like the first comment, since when does Corsair care about gamepads? this is just patent trolling really) while that product is long since no longer in production because...well the project did not really take off.
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#19
ExcuseMeWtf
MusselsThis is dumb, corsair are definitely well known for their PC gaming controllers
Don't hate the player (Corsair), hate the game (US patent law).
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#20
evernessince
Haile SelassieYou do realize the total project cost, ME & EE (just R&D billable hours, infrastructure, vendor qual, tooling costs) for the said controller is probably upwards of $50M USD? These are all NREs... But then the marketing associated budget is probably twice or thrice that. So yes, license fees are next to nothing in a console project with a total project costs upwards of $2B USD.
So let's get this straight, you are debating factual numbers with your imaginary ones? It's be one thing if you could provide a source for any of your numbers but you haven't. At this point you are saying the licensing costs are low based on an assumption.
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#21
Haile Selassie
evernessinceSo let's get this straight, you are debating factual numbers with your imaginary ones? It's be one thing if you could provide a source for any of your numbers but you haven't. At this point you are saying the licensing costs are low based on an assumption.
I'm long enough in this very same industry to actually know what I am talking about. It's up to you if you do not wish to believe me, I am not seeking an argument here.
Yes, I say the one-time licensing cost of $6M is nothing for a product like this.
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#22
Vayra86
MusselsThen why comment?

Sorry but i cant see what you wrote as anything other than trolling or shitposting.
Eh.... context? Losers in the sense of the parties involved in this.... :sleep: Did you seriously think the 'you' was aimed at the people in this topic, now? Or had a weak moment?

Steam lost on its Steambox investment, tried to cheap out on their controllers and now pay another bill for it. 4 million goes to some weird patent and a company nobody sees a real benefit of. 4 million that somehow has to get paid in some way, usually by consumers on other unrelated product.

I'm actually explaining this. Unbelievable.
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#23
1d10t
Did Nintendo patented their controller as well?



If they did, brace for second lawsuit Gaben :D
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#25
bug
londisteSo that is what they infringed - triggers in the back of the controller operated by middle fingers?
System, apparatus and method for letting kids give the finger to their parents without getting in trouble. :straightface:
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