First Zoom patent jury trial sees Valve fined $4 million


Alex Baldwin

First Zoom patent jury trial sees Valve fined $4 million

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Valve has been fined $4 million after being found to have infringed a video game controller patent.

The jury at the District Court for the Western District of Washington gave a unanimous verdict against the computer gaming giant on Tuesday, finding willful infringement of Ironburg Inventions’ 8,641,525 controller patent.

Ironburg Inventions, the IP holding arm of hardware manufacturer SCUF, filed the suit against Valve in 2017, claiming that the company’s Steam Controller infringed its rear-fitted paddle lever controller.

The trial was the first of its kind to take place over Zoom, ending in Valve being ordered to pay $4,029,533.93, with the possibility of supra-compensatory damages.

“Valve did know that its conduct involved an unreasonable risk of infringement, but it simply proceeded to infringe anyway — the classic David and Goliath story: Goliath does what Goliath wants to do,” said Ironburg’s lawyer Robert Becker, according to VGC.

Valve was reportedly warned by Ironburg’s counsel of the infringement in 2014, when the initial prototype of the Steam Controller was first revealed. But Valve proceeded with its design, selling more than 1.6 million units of the final product. The Steam Controller was discontinued in 2019.

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Valve Corporation, Patents, Ironburg Inventions, SCUF, Steam, video games, Microsoft