Valve Sued for Steam Controller Infringement

Law360 reports that a trial is underway (on Zoom!) to determine whether Valve infringed on a patent in the design of the Steam Controller (thanks GamesIndustry.biz). According to the attorneys for controller maker SCUF, they warned Valve back in 2014 that the rear-side control surfaces on the Steam Controller prototype used technology that they patented. In response, Valve's lawyer says: "Ironburg's case will be based on altered graphics, modified pictures, and skewed viewing angles ... and then they'll ask you to make that decision based on an altered reality." Here's an outline of the plaintiff's case:
"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," Becker said.

In early 2014, shortly after finding out that the patent at the heart of the trial was going to be granted, SCUF CEO Duncan Ironmonger saw Valve's Steam Controller prototype at the premier CES trade show.

Concerned by the Steam Controller's incorporation of rear-side controls, Ironmonger informed Valve staffers at the show about the soon-to-issue patent, and then wrote a letter to Valve that March, explaining Ironburg's belief that the rear controls were an infringement of a patent with which "Ironburg really created a new category of controllers," Becker said.