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3/2/2007
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Sony Agrees To Pay $150.3 Million In PlayStation Patent Suit

At issue is software that causes the PlayStation controller to vibrate in sync with the videogame action.

Sony has agreed to pay Immersion $150.3 million in ending a patent-infringement suit in which the latter company claimed the consumer electronics giant used its technology in the PlayStation videogame console.

The agreement followed Sony's decision to withdraw its appeal of a federal court jury decision awarding Immersion $127.8 million, an Immersion spokeswoman said Friday. The Oakland, Calif., jury found Sony guilty of patent infringement in 2004.

In a separate but related agreement, Sony has licensed Immersion technology for $22.5 million, the spokeswoman said.

The suit stemmed from Sony's use of Immersion software that causes the PlayStation controller to vibrate in sync with the videogame action. The so-called haptic technology was used in the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 models. Sony has not said whether the technology would now be used in PlayStation 3, which was released in the United States in November.

"We look forward to exploring with Immersion exciting new ways to bring the largest and best range of game-play experiences to our customers," Kazuo Hirai, president and group chief operating officer for Sony Computer Entertainment, said in a joint statement with Immersion.

Victor Viegas, chief executive of Immersion, said he was "pleased to have put this litigation behind us."

"Our new business agreement with Sony Computer Entertainment is specifically intended to enable advanced vibration capability for the benefit of the PlayStation gaming community," he said.

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