SCUF has scored a major win in their patent infringement trial over Valve, with a jury awarding $US4 ($5) million to the third-party controller manufacturer over the sale of the Steam Controller.
The ruling adds onto the $US2.53 ($3) million (1.6 million euros) fine Valve received for geo-blocking sales. But according to Law.com, the damages in the SCUF trial could rise even further after jurors found that Valve wilfully violated SCUF’s patent.
The EU have fined Valve and five publishers a total of €7.8 million ($US12 ($16).3 million) over their practice of “geo-blocking” PC game sales on Steam, which basically means forcing users in a country (say, Germany) to only pay the German price for a game, instead of letting them buy a...Read more
The case centred on a patent SCUF received in 2013, and Valve’s initial demo of the Steam Controller at CES the following year. Ironburg Inventions — which is now owned by PC peripheral giant Corsair — informed Valve that the Steam Controller was in violation of the “read-side controls surfaces” part of SCUF’s patent.
“Valve did know that its conduct involved an unreasonable risk of infringement, but it simply proceeded to infringe anyway,” SCUF’s lawyers argued.
According to a release from Corsair, the jury verdict was unanimous and opens the door “to a potential award of enhanced damages up to the statutory limit of treble damages”. That said, the Steam Controller has been out of production for almost two years now. And the controller didn’t gain enough traction in market to prevent SCUF’s revenue and brand from growing to the point where it was acquired by Corsair.
The trial has only just wrapped up, so it’s likely things will draw out a little bit further as Valve appeals the decision and fights any amendments to the ruling..
This story originally appeared on Kotaku Australia.