A lawsuit against Valve kicked off this week, in which Gabe Newell’s company is accused of infringing patents when creating Steam controllers. The lawsuit was filed by Ironburg Inventions, which protects the patents of the controller manufacturer SCUF.
Given the situation with the coronavirus pandemic, hearings are being held remotely using Zoom. During the opening speech, Ironburg Inventions attorney Robert Becker explained that back in 2014, Valve had warned that the then prototype Steam controller included some elements that had been patented by its client.
Despite this, Valve continued to develop and released the Srteam controller in 2015, selling 1.5 million units in three years.
Original US Patent No. 8,641,525 was issued back in 2011 and its use was licensed, including by Microsoft in the development of Xbox controllers.
Robert Becker notes that Valve knew about the risk of patent infringement, but ignored it. Valve spokesman Trent Webb insisted that the work of the Steam controller does not correspond to the features described in the patent.
The Steam Controller was discontinued in November 2019.