Support us on Patreon to keep GamingOnLinux alive. This ensures all of our main content remains free for everyone with no article paywalls. Just good, fresh content! Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal, Liberapay or Buy us a Coffee. You can also buy games using our partner links for GOG and Humble Store.

Valve to lose $4 million for patent infringement with the Steam Controller

By - | Views: 22,474

Valve are yet again hitting the spotlight for the wrong reasons following the ruling from the EU Commission over geo-blocking, a lawsuit involving game pricing and now the Steam Controller too.

The lawsuit involved Ironburg Inventions (a subsidiary of Corsair Gaming), who have a patent for a game controller that has back paddles and they've held the patent since 2014. According to the press release, Valve lost the case and so "the jury unanimously found that Valve Corp infringed Ironburg’s 8,641,525 controller patent and awarded Ironburg over $4 million" additionally Valve were apparently aware of it and so the infringement was "willful". Due to this, there's a potential for "enhanced damages up to the statutory limit of treble damages" so the $4 million figure is only the beginning.

Any company that wishes to have back paddles, are then required to license the tech from Ironburg Inventions Ltd which is exactly what Microsoft does for their special Xbox Elite Controller.

The Steam Controller (sadly) was discontinued back in 2019. It was my favourite controller, and I still hope they bring out a proper second generation. Perhaps this was a big supporting reason for why they no longer continued with it? Probably not though, since they're now into VR hardware instead where there's likely a lot more monies.

If they do a second generation, perhaps they will be a little bit more careful with licensing next time and I will still happily be first in line if they do another.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Hardware, Misc, Valve
25 Likes, Who?
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. We are currently affiliated with GOG and Humble Store. See more here.
About the author -
author picture
I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
See more from me
64 comments
Page: «4/7»
  Go to:

Quoting: FutureSuture
Quoting: Massinissa
Quoting: JuliusAnd the back-paddle buttons are probably the most useless part of the Steam controller anyways...
The back-paddle is the only reason I bought the steam controller, I went from bronze to diamond on Rocket League with these buttons ahah. But I'm too poor to buy the xbox elite pro2 controller
It isn't worth it anyway.

Damn, beaten by a 50€ controller who lasted me 2 years...
Seegras 3 Feb
Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: SeegrasPatent systems are very broken and need to be abolished.

For anyone interested, here's the book, where they show that in most fields (except chemistry/pharma), patents don't even work as they should according to the patent system itself. https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/jep.27.1.3
The patent system itself isn't broken. The people running the patent system are. There are legitimate reasons for a patent.

No. You obviouly did not even read the summary of the Paper. It's broken according to what the patent system says it should work like. It's only a huge tax on invention. I'll quote: "there is no empirical evidence that they serve to increase innovation and productivity,".

And that's only according to the patent system itself. If we take adverse effects regarding health or poverty into account, it looks even worse.
Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: Massinissa
Quoting: JuliusAnd the back-paddle buttons are probably the most useless part of the Steam controller anyways...

The back-paddle is the only reason I bought the steam controller, I went from bronze to diamond on Rocket League with these buttons ahah. But I'm too poor to buy the xbox elite pro2 controller
I have a Thrustmaster eSwap Pro, and it took me a while to get used to NOT hitting those bottom buttons on it, though it also would help if I could remember which buttons mapped to the top buttons on that controller!

By the way, it's an excellent controller with one of the best D-Pads I've ever used!

Didn't know about this controller, seems really nice. I don't know what's better between this one and scuff gaming's one.
So I'd have to say that, given the existing legal framework, patent system and so on, this is a fair cop.
There was a patent, they knowingly infringed on it, and they shelled out a cost-of-doing-business 4 million bucks for it.

That said, it's a stupid patent.

And beyond that, the patent system is . . . only insane if one imagines its purpose to have anything to do with increasing innovation. Who knows, maybe that was true 200 years ago. But the modern patent system has been carefully designed, increment after increment, to do something very different: Siphon more money and power to the already wealthy and powerful--create barriers to entry, encourage monopolies, oligopolies and cartels, and enable price-gouging based on artificial scarcity.
Spoiler, click me
Note that in the modern patent system, inventors never patent anything. Corporations with teams of lawyers patent things, the inventors working for them who actually dreamed up the innovation hold zero "intellectual property". Even if inventors were independent, they don't have the amounts of cash needed to successfully file a patent, let alone defend it. Also note that a lot of the innovation which is then patented by corporations was actually innovated by public sector researchers; the profits were then privatized. For instance, the messenger RNA technology used by Pfizer to create their new-type vaccine which they have patented, was invented at the US National Institute of Health, doubtless building on a bunch of other public sector research conducted worldwide and published in scholarly journals. But the National Institute of Health ain't seeing any cash from it. This is normal; the whole point of the exercise is for the Pfizer types to make money.
Izaic 3 Feb
Quoting: TheRiddickcan't even buy the damn thing anymore.

I'm willing to sell mine. It's lightly used, but in good condition.
I will take even a more refined Steam controller for 2nd gen. With focus on software profiles and such. Imagine it to be even better fit and comfortable, and when you plug the controller it automatically connects to Emulator and the game you are running and sets up the best possible config for you. That would be amazing i.e software improvements.

Quoting: IzaicI'm willing to sell mine. It's lightly used, but in good condition.
Three fiddy!


Last edited by Linuxwarper on 3 February 2021 at 10:39 pm UTC
Scumbags. My Faith In The System looses 1000 points with stories like these.

Of course, the copyright and patent systems have become systems of oppression and nothing more than more "Control".

It's just another example of a "good idea" of protecting inventers taken beyond too far going horribly horribly wrong.
thykr 4 Feb
Patents = cancer. It's time to shut them down. You can't copyright an idea.
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: Purple Library GuySo I'd have to say that, given the existing legal framework, patent system and so on, this is a fair cop.
There was a patent, they knowingly infringed on it, and they shelled out a cost-of-doing-business 4 million bucks for it.

That said, it's a stupid patent.

And beyond that, the patent system is . . . only insane if one imagines its purpose to have anything to do with increasing innovation. Who knows, maybe that was true 200 years ago. But the modern patent system has been carefully designed, increment after increment, to do something very different: Siphon more money and power to the already wealthy and powerful--create barriers to entry, encourage monopolies, oligopolies and cartels, and enable price-gouging based on artificial scarcity.
Spoiler, click me
Note that in the modern patent system, inventors never patent anything. Corporations with teams of lawyers patent things, the inventors working for them who actually dreamed up the innovation hold zero "intellectual property". Even if inventors were independent, they don't have the amounts of cash needed to successfully file a patent, let alone defend it. Also note that a lot of the innovation which is then patented by corporations was actually innovated by public sector researchers; the profits were then privatized. For instance, the messenger RNA technology used by Pfizer to create their new-type vaccine which they have patented, was invented at the US National Institute of Health, doubtless building on a bunch of other public sector research conducted worldwide and published in scholarly journals. But the National Institute of Health ain't seeing any cash from it. This is normal; the whole point of the exercise is for the Pfizer types to make money.
The other shit thing that happens is companies buy other companies solely for their patents and then lay off all of the engineers that developed whatever tech was patented. Often times with the sole intention of burying that thing so that they don't have competition of their own product / patent.
Al3s 4 Feb
Quoting: wytrabbit
Quoting: BeamboomThere's just something about a physical stick that can't be replaced with a touchpad.

My thoughts as well. The touchpad can be nice for a casual game, but trying to move or turn with it quickly and accurately in an intense boss fight (say for example Dark Souls 3, or Hellpoint) is impossible.
I've finished DS3 recently using the Steam Controller. Practice makes perfect.
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Patreon, Liberapay or PayPal Donation.

We have no adverts, no paywalls, no timed exclusive articles. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
Login / Register

Or login with...
Sign in with Steam Sign in with Twitter Sign in with Google
Social logins require cookies to stay logged in.

Livestreams & Videos
Community Livestreams
Latest Forum Posts