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.