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In the ongoing saga between Ironburg Inventions and Valve, a new ruling appeared on August 17 that gives Valve another chance to invalidate some parts of the patents involved.

The case against Valve boils down to the back paddles included on the Steam Controller, which Ironburg have repeatedly claimed infringes on their patents. Initially, the courts backed Ironburg and awarded at least $4 million in damages, which was upheld in later ruling against Valve.

Now though another ruling has appeared after an appeal which actually backs Valve. The interesting part here is that one piece of the evidence from Valve during the trial was on some prior art that should have invalidated parts of the patents from Ironburg.

It involves an article on xboxer360.com (which no longer exists) that you can see using the Wayback Machine showing a controller with buttons on the back being reviewed in 2010 (keep in mind the patent Ironburg were granted is from 2013). Valve showed copies as evidence, but this was ignored in previous rulings. The things is, this same article was even used by Ironburg in their patent application shown at the bottom under "Other references".

While you might not be able to normally view the article now, it still existed. For it to be taken into account as prior art it had to be "sufficiently accessible to the public interested in the art" and of course it was. The ruling even notes that references to it were found by a patent examiner by doing a "brief" search on it.

The finding then is that this makes there be "overwhelming evidence" of prior art, which is something that was basically ignored in previous rulings because dates didn't line up so it had "not been authenticated". We're now waiting for the next part, as it has been remanded so it's getting a reconsideration.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Hardware, Meta, Valve
37 Likes
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27 comments
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Nezchan 30 Aug
Quoting: denyasis
Quoting: detroutWas it patent trolls that took the steam controller off the market, and not poor sales?

Sales would be my guess, combined with mixed reviews and poor support.

Honestly, if they went all-in on support and put out an official application like SC Controller then I think it would have done far better. As it is, you've got to rely on a third party dev for that, who turned out to be flaky and basically abandoned it.
CutchuSlow 30 Aug
I have a third party PS3 controller with buttons on the back. Got that way before 2013.
MayeulC 30 Aug
Quoting: CutchuSlowI have a third party PS3 controller with buttons on the back. Got that way before 2013.

What is the brand? It could actually help if you find mention of it from before 2013 or 2011, like the website you might have ordered from. I also quoted that one from scuf gaming, but missed that earlier review.
elmapul 30 Aug
another day, another proof that preservation of old stuff is important
Quoting: denyasis
Quoting: detroutWas it patent trolls that took the steam controller off the market, and not poor sales?

Sales would be my guess, combined with mixed reviews and poor support.
Support in what sense? The beauty of the Steam Controller is that it did not need support from any company but Valve.
Quoting: FutureSuture
Quoting: denyasis
Quoting: detroutWas it patent trolls that took the steam controller off the market, and not poor sales?

Sales would be my guess, combined with mixed reviews and poor support.
Support in what sense? The beauty of the Steam Controller is that it did not need support from any company but Valve.

Also they supported the device quite well post launch with software updates. I have even seen some anecdotal mentions that Valve was very good about replacing defective parts.
Mohandevir 30 Aug
I just wish that this lawsuit is what's holding back Valve from releasing a Steam Controller V2.
bepop 30 Aug
Quoting: MohandevirI just wish that this lawsuit is what's holding back Valve from releasing a Steam Controller V2.
It's not. They circumvented patent on Steam Deck. I wish for Steam Controller v2 as well.
Quoting: MohandevirI just wish that this lawsuit is what's holding back Valve from releasing a Steam Controller V2.

Oh, the new controller has a screen and cpu / gpu combo and an ssd, and you can even play games on it. :D :D :D
I'm easily amused, but it cracks me up that Valve is represented by a law firm called "Shook, Hardy & Bacon"
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