Sony Corp. has been ordered to pay $90.7 million in damages for infringing two patents used in videogame controllers but will be allowed to continue selling the popular PlayStation console in the Unit
LOS ANGELES (The Hollywood Reporter) -- Sony Corp. has been ordered to pay $90.7 million in damages for infringing two patents used in videogame controllers but will be allowed to continue selling the popular PlayStation console in the United States as it appeals the decision.
The judgment in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Judge Claudia Wilken presiding, affirmed a jury verdict in which Sony Computer Entertainment was found to have infringed on the patents of San Jose, Calif.-based Immersion Corp. The technology at issue allows a game controller -- in this case, Sony's Dual Shock -- to shake in sync with the action in a game.
With the decision handed down March 24, Wilken issued a judgment -- which will be stayed pending appeal -- that Sony cannot make, sell or import the PlayStation system, Dual Shock controllers and certain games into the United States. As a condition of not enforcing that permanent injunction, Wilken ordered Sony to pay Immersion a mandatory license fee.
Immersion president/CEO Victor Viegas welcomed the decision but said the ordered royalty rate of 1.37% of wholesale was substantially below the usual rate of 5%.
"[Wilken] has allowed them to continue to sell infringing product even though they're forced to pay us a royalty," Viegas said. "This is just one step in a long process. We're pleased we've reached this point but know that we have a lot of work ahead of us."
Immersion filed the suit in 2002. The jury awarded the company $82 million in damages, to which the court added $8.7 million in interest.
Sony officials declined to comment on the pending litigation.