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Sony Loses Huge Court Case

Reports surfaced over the weekend—and were confirmed today—that Sony’s ongoing legal battles with Immersion Corporation have taken a turn for the worse. Sony was ordered to pay Immersion some $90.7 million dollars for patent infringement, in a ruling handed down last Thursday…but that’s not all.

U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken also ordered the cessation of sales of the Dual Shock controller, PSone and PlayStation 2 consoles with the Dual Shock controller included, and some 47 games that use the vibration technology which is at the center of this lawsuit. This list of games includes titles like Kingdom Hearts, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Final Fantasy X, Amplitude, Metal Gear Solid 2, and more.

In response, Sony filed an appeal to this judgment and will continue to be able to sell PlayStation 2 systems and extra controllers while the appeals process is ongoing. Immersion will be receiving licensing fees from Sony during the stay of the injunction for all products sold that utilize Immersion’s technology.

This process has been going on for some time now. The initial decision against Sony came back in September of 2004, when Immersion was awarded an $82 million dollar decision by a federal jury. Sony immediately appealed, and this latest decision is a direct result of that appeal.

Sony’s stock has recovered on Wall Street today after early losses. As of this writing, it stands at $44.17—which is up $.01 from today’s open.

3/23/2005 Peter Skerritt Jr.

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