Kind of funny this happened to one of the other companies *cough* SONY
[CENTER][Microsoft Suing Immersion
The force feedback company's recent settlement with Sony has Bill Gates on its back.
June 19, 2007 - Sony and tactile feedback specialist Immersion have had a much-publicized battle over the DualShock controller, which violated Immersion's force feedback patent. The two companies kissed and made up in March, but the settlement has apparently sparked another lawsuit -- this time aimed at Immersion and coming from Microsoft.
Immersion had sued Microsoft along with Sony back in 2002 for the same patent infringement. But in 2003 the companies reached a settlement under which Microsoft agreed to pay Immersion $26 million to license its technology and buy a stake in the company. There was also a provision which said Immersion would pay Microsoft for certain licensing arrangements. Now Microsoft says Immersion is not honoring their agreement.
"We entered into a binding licensing agreement with Immersion and are seeking to have that agreement honored," Microsoft Associate General Counsel Steve Aeschbacher told News.com. "Microsoft licenses technology both in and out and relies on these agreements to be honored and enforced. Our request to the court is that all companies and industry partners should play by the same rules and that the binding agreement we signed with Immersion be honored."
Apparently, Immersion was to make a payment to Microsoft specifically if the technology company settled with Sony. A scan of Microsoft's lawsuit on seattlepi.com reads: "…if Immersion settles the Sony Lawsuit ... for an amount up to $100,000,000, Immersion shall pay Microsoft the sum of $15,000,000. If Immersion settles the Sony Lawsuit for an amount between $100,000,000 and $150,000,000, Immersion shall pay Microsoft an additional amount equal to 25% of the amount of the settlement in excess of $100,000,000. If Immersion settles the Sony Lawsuit for an amount in excess of $150,000,000, Immersion shall pay Microsoft an additional amount equal to 17.5% of the amount of the settlement in excess of $150,000,000."
Immersion has indeed "settled" with Sony, although there appears to be some confusion as to the exact meaning of the term. In the wording announcing the end of their dispute, Immersion and Sony do not use the word "settle," instead referring to the deal as a "business agreement."
In a recent financial statement, Immersion said it "has determined that the conclusion of its litigation with Sony Computer Entertainment does not trigger any payment obligations under its Microsoft agreements. However, in a letter sent to [Immersion] dated May 1, 2007, Microsoft disputed [Immersion's] position and stated that it believes [Immersion] owes Microsoft at least $27.5 million. If Microsoft brings a lawsuit to further dispute [Immersion's] position, [Immersion] intends to oppose Microsoft's claims and vigorously defend the Company's position."
As of this writing, neither Microsoft nor Immersion could be reached for comment.
Hmmmm, i wonder what going to happen now, will the same fate come upon Microsoft, as it did for Sony.............. will there be no more rumble on the 360 controllers?