Back in February 2021 we wrote an article about how Ironburg Inventions (a subsidiary of Corsair Gaming) were suing Valve for the Steam Controller and Valve has now firmly lost the case. As a brief reminder to save clicking around: Ironburg hold a patent on a controller with two buttons on the back, they sued Valve since the Steam Controller has back paddles.
In the new ruling that can be seen here, Judge Thomas S. Zilly has denied Valve's attempt to have a new trial and overturn the initial jury decision of $4,029,533.93 in damages. Overall it didn't go too well with Valve's defence stating how it was "about as straightforward a patent case as you could ever hope to get" and that the jury would have "no trouble making the right decision at the end of this case" based on the Steam Controller and the Patent. Zilly mentioned "The Court agrees that this case is straightforward and can be decided on the ’525 Patent and the accused device. The jury appears to have done exactly that, but defendant does not like the result the jury reached. Defendant’s dissatisfaction does not constitute grounds for judgment as a matter of law or a new trial." — ouch.
Not ideal for Valve, however, the judge also decided that Valve's infringement wasn't enough to award enhanced damages which could have been a real disaster. For Valve though, is four million dollars a lot? They print money thanks to Steam, so not likely. Since Valve no longer produce the Steam Controller, cutting their losses here is probably a good idea.
As it turns out, the previous hints of a new Steam Controller that might have come with four back-buttons appears to not be happening either. In the court documents we can see developers from Valve clearly mention the four-button approach did not survive their original iterative design process after many tests. Shame. I absolutely loved the Steam Controller, so a new version that got around the patent issues with a tweaked design would have been ideal. Well, at least we shall have the upcoming SteamPal console perhaps.