Back in February, a jury concluded that Valve’s Steam controller had infringed patents owned by Ironburg Inventions, the parent company of SCUF Gaming. Valve were ordered to pay $4 million in damages (around £2.8 million).
This week, Valve failed in their attempt to have the jury’s decision overturned.
Valve’s lawyers had requested a judgement as a matter of law – essentially arguing that there was insufficient evidence in the case and asking for the judge to make a new ruling, or requesting a new trial.
As reported by the Esports Observer, the judge rejected the request. The ruling quotes Valve’s own lawyer calling the case straightforward during the trial, before concluding that, “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.”
In the same ruling, the judge also ruled against a request by Ironburg Inventions for increased damages, which could have as much as tripled the damages Valve have to pay.
The patent it’s been ruled Valve have infringed relates to buttons on the back of the controller designed to be used by the user’s middle finger. SCUF Gaming make serveral controllers which have buttons in those positions.
Valve retired the Steam Controller back in 2019, but they still have hardware ambitions aside from the Valve Index. This week saw reports of Valve making a Nintendo Switch-like machine called the SteamPal.