Judge rules in Sony's favor in $500 million patent lawsuit

The lawsuit alleged that Sony had infringed on the patents of Genuine Enabling Technology for the way its controllers and consoles communicate.

Image via PlayStation

Sony has come out ahead in a major lawsuit this week. The company was in court with Genuine Enabling Technology (GET), which alleged that Sony infringed on its patents for communication between a platform and controller, specifically by way of the PlayStation consoles and their controllers. The plaintiff was seeking $500 million in damages. Sony argued that GET failed to show enough evidence that its PlayStation controllers and GET’s technology patents were “structurally equivalent”. US District Court Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg ruled in favor of Sony, agreeing that not enough evidence of infringement was present.

Judge Goldberg issued his ruling on the lawsuit this week, as reported by GamesIndustry.biz. According to Genuine Enabling Technology, Sony infringed on its US-6219730-B1 patent entitled “'Method and Apparatus for Producing a Combined Data Stream and Recovering Therefrom the Respective User Input Stream and at Least One Input Signal.” GET claimed that PlayStation consoles and controllers utilized technology far too similar to the patent and the technology described therein in how the devices communicate and send signals back and forth to each other, including sending separate and varied frequency signals for button and motion control inputs.

Genuine Enabling Technology patent diagram
Genuine Enabling Technology claimed that PlayStation infringed on its patents which allowed varied-frequency signals to be sent simultaneously between console and controller for different functions.
Source: US Patent Office

GET would go on to claim that no company had come up with a solution for devices to simultaneously send signals until it had filed its patent. However, Sony countered that GET did not provide sufficient evidence to prove that a certain component in its controllers key to the patent was “structurally equivalent” the diagrams in GET’s patent. Judge Goldberg ultimately went on to agree that GET “failed to raise a dispute of fact,” granting Sony a judgement of non-infringement and closing the case.

It's worth noting that Genuine Enabling Technology filed a similar suit against Nintendo’s consoles and controllers. The case was originally ruled in Nintendo’s favor in 2020, but a US Court of Appeals reversed this decision as of 2022, which has left it ongoing. With the PlayStation case in the books, it may very well affect the final ruling on the Nintendo case. Stay tuned as we watch for further updates and details.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at tj.denzer@shacknews.com and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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