Immersion to pay Microsoft $20 million to settle patent suit

A company that makes touch sensors for interacting with computer applications and games has agreed to pay Microsoft more than $20 million to settle a patent suit.

Microsoft sued Immersion, based in San Jose, Calif., in June 2007 in Western District Court of Washington to collect part of the patent-settlement fees Sony agreed to pay Immersion in another case.

Microsoft claimed that it deserved some of Sony’s patent settlement to Immersion because of a previous deal in which Microsoft became a sublicensor of certain patents Immersion held. The patents in question were part of the Sony settlement.

In an e-mail, Steve Aeschbacher, associate general counsel at Microsoft, confirmed a $20.75 million payout from Immersion and said Microsoft was pleased to have reached a resolution to the dispute.

Immersion CEO and President Clent Richardson, a one-time Apple executive, echoed that sentiment in a press statement made Tuesday, saying he was pleased to “put this litigation behind us.”

In an e-mail Wednesday, a representative from Immersion’s public relations firm said Immersion also becomes a member of Microsoft’s Certified Partner Program as part of the settlement.

Immersion is a premier developer of force-feedback technology, which—among other things—lets gamers feel rumbles and shakes from a game controller. The company brought force-feedback technology to Mac OS X in 2002.

To comment on this article and other Macworld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.