Immersion Settles Lawsuit Over Teledildonics Patent Royalties

from the left-out-the-interesting-part dept

The Associated Press has a short blurb about how haptics company and aggressive patent holder Immersion has settled its lawsuit with Internet Services LLC. Oddly, the AP report leaves out the details of the case -- which were pretty interesting -- preferring to make it sound like a generic patent lawsuit. The case, which we wrote about a few months back, involved questions over whether or not Immersion owed Internet Services money from Immersion's patent settlement with Sony.

You see, Immersion licenses "haptics" technology, which may be better known as "force feedback" technology -- the stuff that makes your video game controller vibrate when you drive your virtual car off the track in that racing game, for example. Immersion realized that such force feedback technology would also have a market in the porn world -- but apparently didn't want to sully its own name by associating with that world. So, instead, it licensed the right to enforce its patents in the "cybersex" and "teledildonics" to Internet Services. Then Immersion still gets the money but doesn't have to be seen as shaking down porn purveyors. The problem, though, was that Internet Services believed that the Sony PlayStation could be used for "cybersex" purposes as well as for straight gaming -- and thus, it felt cut out of Immersion's settlement with Sony.

And, from there, the fight was on -- and it got even more interesting earlier this year when the famed patent lawyer that Internet Services had hired to represent it against Immersion tried to quit -- and Internet Services went to court to require him to stay on the case. There's no word on the details of the settlement, but it's rather surprising that the AP would take this case and leave out most of the more interesting details.

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  1. identicon
    Cornholio, 25 Aug 2008 @ 8:55pm

    You Had Me at "Teledildonics"

    You charmer, you

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    mike42 (profile), 25 Aug 2008 @ 9:26pm

    Great patents

    Yay, more non-obvious patents! I never would have thought of this, had I not read it in every friggin' sci-fi mag and paperback for the last 40 years! I guess fiction doesn't count for "prior art", but un-implemented stories count for legal patent documentation...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2008 @ 9:27pm

    "Teledildonics" is officially the word of the day.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2008 @ 6:36am

    Hey is . . .

    "Teledildonics" trademarked . . . I have some ideas . . .

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), 26 Aug 2008 @ 9:13am

    And now...

    ...Internet Services has Streisand Effect linked Immersion to cybersex toys. Exactly what Immersion was trying to avoid initially.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous of Course, 26 Aug 2008 @ 6:12pm

    Prior art...

    I'm not clear on this... is this teledildonics
    widget a human to human connection via the internet?

    If not there's prior art in a widget controlled by
    one of the audio channels of a VCR player. A logical
    extension would be SAP... and of course internet

    Might be worth checking Sam Costello's work at Don
    Brittian Enterprises for some pre-VCR era work.
    With human to human connected widgets. I know they
    designed some slightly scary uses of electrical
    currents in they vein.

    Uh... not that I. Errr... Know. I mean... so I've
    been told!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Eric J White, 21 Oct 2013 @ 7:10pm


    Well, Virtual Sex Machine is trademarked, and as I own, .net, and .org...the question is moot.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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