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Microsoft recoups $20m on Sony rumble payments

Litigation roundabout sees Microsoft bag rumble tech for little more than USD 5 million

Microsoft has been paid USD 20.75 million by rumble patent-holder Immersion as a settlement of pending litigation over a previous agreement regarding royalties paid to the company by Sony.

The row focused on the use of rumble technology used by both Microsoft and Sony in their controllers. Immersion originally sued Microsoft in 2003 over patent infringement and the Xbox 360 manufacturer agreed to settle for USD 26 million.

However, part of that agreement included a clause that required Immersion to pay Microsoft a chunk of any cash the rumble company obtained from Sony as part of additional litigation.

Sony was subsequently ordered to pay Immersion USD 90 million in damages, but Immersion denied that payment triggered the agreement clause with Microsoft - which the latter disputed and sued Immersion over.

Now Immersion has settled that dispute by paying Microsoft USD 20.75 million as a one-time payment and joining the company's Certified Partner Program.

The net result for Microsoft is that it managed to obtain the rights to use rumble technology in its controllers for just over USD 5 million, while Sony is continuing to pay a massively higher amount.

Sony's launch controller with the PlayStation 3, the SixAxis, did not feature rumble functionality - a move heavily criticised by gamers. However, since the company signed a licensing agreement with Immersion, the DualShock 3 pad has now been released.

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