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Microsoft vs. Immersion: Round 2 (6/19)

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  • Microsoft vs. Immersion: Round 2 (6/19)

    In 2002 Immersion filed a lawsuit against both Microsoft and Sony for patent infringement in regards to rumble technology the companies used in their game controllers. In 2003 Microsoft settled with Immersion for $26 million. In 2007, after over 2 years of appeals, Sony settled with Immersion for $97 million for damages and interest plus another $22.5 million to license the rumble technology through 2009. Apparently part of the settlement deal with Microsoft stated that if Immersion settled with Sony, they would repay Microsoft based on the Sony settlement amount. But, after settling with Sony, Immersion "modified their 2006 annual report with a statement proclaiming they no longer felt obligated to pay Microsoft anything".
    Source: 1Up.Com [ more info ]

    Like the source article indicates, Immersion agreed to pay Microsoft money if they got money out of Sony. Which they did. But, now that Immersion has gotten their hands into Sony's pockets, they are claiming they owe Microsoft nothing. Needless to say Microsoft disagrees.

    I just can't wrap my head around why they feel they owe Microsoft nothing. It's right there in the settlement agreement. I was going to read the 2006 shreholder report (that Immersion retro-actively modified), but it's 108 pages of eye-numbing textual rambling. So... I gave up on that idea pretty quickly.

    As for that final bubble, I know technically no one can own the rights to a word. But if any company could figure out how to... it'd probably be Microsoft.

  • #2
    Suing for suing sake is all the rage...

    Don't quote me on that, I don't wanna be sued.

    People always go after the big boys. But you’re right; I don't see how Immersion thinks they don't have to pay.

    Oh and I believe people can own the rights to a word or phrase even as innocuous as "Your Fired" (thank you Donald Trump), "Threepeat" (thank you Pat Riley) and "I think we should just be friends" (ex girlfriend). But this may be only the case of in print/media/profitable use. (I don't feel like looking up all the details.)
    -Whytewulf
    "Perfer et obdura; dolor hic tibi proderit lim"

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    • #3
      Ahh yes i can see it now , Microsoft buying Websters Dictionary. Who wants to buy Winbsters Millennium?

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      • #4
        It seems greed knows no bounds, 97 million plus interest, and they didnt make a peep when sony used rumble back on the ps1.

        now they want to go around their agreement with microsoft? I guess greed doesn't just know no bounds, but it loves to break the law made by a legal document.
        "Your Words are as empty as your soul! Mankind ill needs a savior such as you!"
        "What is MAN? A miserable pile of secrets! But enough talk! Have at you!

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        • #5
          Actually, a commonly cited example of "owning" a word is the trademarking of "Three-peat" by the NBA coach Pat Riley.

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          • #6
            My absolute favorite chapter of this story was Sony claiming that the exclusion of rumble from the Sixaxis had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they didn't want to pay the people that invented and owned the rights to the technology. They actually tried to say that taking out a function that almost everyone that plays console games enjoyed and had gotten used to...was to the benefit of the consumer. Longer battery life, lighter controller, etc....Riiiiight.

            Anyway. This is just silly. It's obvious that Immersion knows they are going to lose. They had to know that Microsoft would react immediately with a lawsuit and that if they actually plan on fighting this, they are going to have to pay out anyway and eat the additional cost of taking it to court.

            XBL Gamertag - DarkXan

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            • #7
              ROFL! Awesome comic! Gotta love Microsoft...I doubt anyone would get away with not paying them their due for long.
              I'd like to welcome Aedan Robert Gargrave to the world!
              Born April 17th at 4:10 am...7 lbs, 5 oz, & 20.5" long at birth!

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              • #8
                Weird Al Yankovic comes to mind .
                Blame violence on video games? What are you, stupid?!
                http://gr.bolt.com/articles/violence/violence.htm

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                • #9
                  Phrases are viable for trademark.

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                  • #10
                    Aah the joy of sueing...

                    I reamember watching on tv some years ago something about MacDonald (the restaurants chain) threatening to sue a nice scottish lady in england because her restaurant was name Macmuffins. But it didnt go to court after the head of the MacDonald (the scottish clan) got into it and pointed out that they had the name Macdonald a lot longer then the restaurants...

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                    • #11
                      Hehe, I'm a bit surprised the title wasn't something like "Lets get ready to RUMMMBLLLLEEE!!!"

                      Just skimmed Slashdot's take on the article and it's a mess I don't even want to peer too deeply into. I'm sure if you look deep enough someone is probably suing themselves. (actually maybe not all that deeply since MS's settlement deal had them buy a portion of Immersion IIRC)
                      Saroc <Heroes>, Cleric of Brell, Luclin server, Everquest
                      Anoki <Tranquil Waters>, Troubadour Provisioner, Najena server, EQII

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                      • #12
                        And we wonder why any lawyer can possibly go hungry in this country....
                        Lostinthewood

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by LostintheWood
                          And we wonder why any lawyer can possibly go hungry in this country....
                          They dont, legal students, computer science majors and animal rights activists on the other hand...
                          "Your Words are as empty as your soul! Mankind ill needs a savior such as you!"
                          "What is MAN? A miserable pile of secrets! But enough talk! Have at you!

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                          • #14
                            Why Microsoft...

                            Maybe this is common knowledge or something I am just oblivious to, but why is it that Sony gets slapped and Microsoft (is supposed to) get a refund? If Microsoft uses the rumble function in it's controllers enough to get sued in the first place, why a money back guarantee pending Sony pays up?

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                            • #15
                              This is only the second time in my life you'll ever hear me say "Go Microsoft!" And I hope they win.
                              Sony pulling rumble for the PS3 was just downright moronic, after all, what's better than the controller going nuts in Grand Turismo when you hit durt at over 100 mph?

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