Monday, August 12, 2013

Sony et al., Virtual Reality Feedback Corporation Enter Settlement over PlayStation

Case Filed: Apr 21, 2009

Case Closed:  Aug 07, 2013

Court: New Jersey District Court

Judge: Mary L. Cooper

Case Summary:

Virtual Reality Feedback Corporation (VRF) and Craig Thorner accused Sony and others of infringing five of their patents related to vibrating video game controller technology.  Thorner and VRF named Sony, Gregory S. Gerwitz, Larry C. Russ, Lerner David, Littenberg Krumholz & Mentlik, LLP, Marc A. Fenster, Riley Russell, Russ August & Kabat and Performance Designed Products, LLC as defendants. The patents involved in the suit were:

  • U.S. 5,684,722, entitled "Apparatus and Method for Generating a Control Signal or a Tactile Sensation Generator”, issued on Nov 04, 1997 and expiring* by Nov 04, 2014
  • U.S. 6,422,941, entitled "Universal Tactile Feedback System for Computer Video Games and Simulations”, issued on Jul 23, 2002 and expiring* by Sep 23, 2014
  • U.S. 5,565,840, entitled "Tactile Sensation Generator” issued on Oct 15, 1996 and expiring* by Sep 21, 2014
  • U.S. 5,669,818, entitled "Seat-Based Tactile Sensation Generator”, issued on Sep 23, 1997 and expiring* by Mar 23, 2015
  • U.S. 6,232,932 entitled "Apparatus and Method for Providing Modular Reconfigurable Multi-Function Displays for Computer Simulations”, issued on May 15,2001 and expiring* by Jul 16, 2018

The patents are currently assigned+ to Virtual Reality Feedback Corporation (source: MaxVal’s Assignment Database). Plaintiffs alleged that defendants manufacture and market devices that incorporate the methods as covered in the ‘722, '941, ‘840, ’818 and ‘932 patents. Plaintiffs cited PlayStation products including game controllers and vibrating headphones with model numbers MDR-IF 540RK as infringing products. Plaintiffs demanded judgment in favor and damages for infringement and any other relief. 

Stipulation of dismissal was filed as the parties agreed to settle the case. Upon considering the request, the Court ordered:

  • All claims and counterclaims dismissed with prejudice
  • Defendants Sony and Riley Russell to deposit $62,287.26 into the Court's Registry Fund to enforce attorneys' fee lien filed by Budd Larner, P.C.
  • Parties to bear their own costs and expenses.

See 3:09-cv-01894 for more details. To get alerts on cases filed/closed, subscribe to our Litigation Alerts.

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* Expected expiration date. Patent Term Estimator is a free web-based tool that automatically calculates patent terms and expiration dates for U.S. utility patents.

+ MaxVal offers Patent Assignment Alert service where subscribers receive email alerts when assignments relating to target applications, patents or entities of interest are recorded.

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