Immersion sues Sony and Microsoft
Immersion announced on Monday that they have filed a suit against Microsoft and Sony claiming that elements of their consoles violate its patents. Immersion develops technology that lets video game controllers vibrate in-sync with on-screen effects.
The company said Sony's controllers for its PlayStation and PlayStation 2 console, and Microsoft's Xbox controllers, violate two of Immersion's patents on its sensory feedback technology, which is also used in the automotive and medical fields. Specifically, Immersion claims that Microsoft and Sony have illegally used the company's "haptic" technology, which enables users to feel touch sensations when interacting with a digital display.
"The development and licensing of our haptic technology is the foundation of our business,'' said Bob O'Malley, chairman and chief executive officer of Immersion. "After extensive attempts to settle this infringement issue through negotiations, we decided to file the suit today to enforce our intellectual property rights."
Spokesmen at both Microsoft and Sony Computer Entertainment, Sony's game unit, said their companies had not seen the suit and could not immediately comment.
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2/12/2002 Matt Stensrud