Immersion has recently announced that it reached a settlement with Apple following several lawsuits filed against the company for violating haptic feedback tech patents.
No specifics were provided in today’s announcement, though Immersion did say that Apple agreed with a number of licensing deals. Most likely, this means Apple can use Immersion’s technology in exchange for an undisclosed sum, though it’s not known how many of the patents the company licensed.
At this point, Immersion says it holds some 2,600 patents, and Apple hasn’t disclosed how many of them it licensed in order to be used in its own products.
“Immersion Corporation, the leading developer and licensor of touch feedback technology, today announced that the Company has entered into settlement and license agreements with Apple, the terms of which are confidential,” the brief announcement reads.
Immersion vs. Apple
The legal dispute between the two started in early 2016 when Immersion filed a lawsuit in a Delaware court, claiming Apple violated its own haptic feedback patents with iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, and the Apple Watch. Another lawsuit was filed in the same court a few months later, this time over four different patents that were used in iPhone 6s, MacBook, and MacBook Pro.
In the case of the iPhone 6s, Immersion said three of its patents related to 3D Touch were used without authorization, as it follows:
|U.S. Patent No. 8,749,507, “Systems and Methods for Adaptive Interpretation of Input from a Touch-Sensitive Input Device”
U.S. Patent No. 7,808,488, “Method and Apparatus for Providing Tactile Sensations”
U.S. Patent No. 8,581,710, “Systems and Methods for Haptic Confirmation of Commands”
A fourth patent that covers technology used on Apple’s laptops with Retina display was also named in the May lawsuit:
|U.S. Patent No. 7,336,260, “Method and Apparatus for Providing Tactile Sensations”|
Apple has never commented on these claims, and the confidential nature of the arrangement is living proof that the company wanted this to be resolved quietly without too much press buzz.