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Immersion sues Apple over 3D Touch and other haptic technology

Immersion sues Apple over 3D Touch and other haptic technology
Immersion, a San Jose-based company that has been developing haptic tech since 1993, has recently filed suit against Apple for intellectual property infringement. According to Immersion, Apple's recent iPhones and all of the Apple Watches infringe on not one but several of its haptic feedback patents.

The plaintiff says that the 3D Touch / Force Touch system that Apple uses on the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, and the Apple Watch, infringes on a patent for a technology called "shared feedback". The patent does not cover a method of recognizing the intensity of the touch, but it does specify how the software could show preview info through a light press from the user or take action through a firm one.

The haptic technology licensor also says that all iPhones starting with the 6th generation and all three Apple Watch models make use of patented technology that describes how touch screens could offer "tactile sensations". Furthermore, Immersion says that these devices also infringe on a patent that specifies how devices could offer different feedbacks depending on the performed action.

If Immersion is successful in its court battle against Apple, it will seek damages for intellectual property infringement. At the moment, the extent of these damages is unknown.

Back in June 2015, Immersion announced that more than 3 billion devices across the globe use at least one of its haptic technologies. According to the company's official website, Immersion has more than 2,000 issued or pending patents.

source: Re/Code


77 Comments
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posted on 11 Feb 2016, 18:58 8

1. darkkjedii (Posts: 20087; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


There's only one post I'm waiting for, and it'll be a long one.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 19:04 33

3. Finalflash (Posts: 2795; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


I think a simple "lol" suffices in this one. Patent trolls getting sued always makes for a warm day in the tech world.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 19:25 31

8. S.R.K. (banned) (Posts: 678; Member since: 11 Feb 2016)


RoTfLmFaO . Good they deserve it. All of Apple's patents should be invalidated.

Biggest patent trolls in history.

posted on 12 Feb 2016, 02:03 2

40. MSi_GS70 (unregistered)


All kinds of gadget companies across the globe should look what apple others patends using and they should do mass lawsuit against ape.. They need to feel how is it feel..

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 21:14 14

23. engineer-1701d (Posts: 3271; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


I knew, was real finally now its apples turn to be Sue for everything granted they did steal practically every piece of technology they have a used since the beginning of that company

posted on 12 Feb 2016, 04:39 2

49. Nallaikumaran (banned) (Posts: 61; Member since: 14 Sep 2015)


Steve Jobs 1996: "Picasso had a saying -- 'good artists copy; great artists steal' -- and we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas."

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 22:12 4

31. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 8939; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


Really? Why?

The the if possibly got caught again?
Would we be surprised if found to be true?
Patent lawsuits don't help anyone but lawyers.
We all know this!

posted on 12 Feb 2016, 07:48

55. marorun (Posts: 3393; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


Yeah but its good to see Apple get a feel of its own medicine! :)

Still i agree all this patent lawsuits is no good.
to patent something you need to really invent something new not just impliment it in a mobile phone..

posted on 12 Feb 2016, 14:23 1

65. nctx77 (Posts: 1767; Member since: 03 Sep 2013)


This post is way to short. What happened Techie, did you finally get a life?

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 19:03 3

2. Carlitos (Posts: 502; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


"but it does specify how the software could show preview info through a light press from the user or take action through a firm one"
This is the very literally description for apples 3d touch. This is case actually has a good chance of winning

posted on 12 Feb 2016, 00:03 5

36. vincelongman (Posts: 4164; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


Also the company suing Apple is NOT a patent troll
Seems like they provide APIs for devs to implement haptic feedback

http://www.immersion.com/technology/#products

posted on 12 Feb 2016, 02:58

44. xondk (Posts: 1250; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)


Yeah, we can hope that this brings an end to Apple getting patents to technologies that already exist, the amount they've gotten is silly. Heck we can hope this brings the whole patent thing into question so it can get reworked.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 19:05 21

4. f_u_006 (Posts: 50; Member since: 19 Mar 2014)


Apple is getting what it deserves

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 19:05 1

5. 47AlphaTango (Posts: 284; Member since: 27 Sep 2015)


Wow! another patent lawsuit. Many companies are now eager to sue apple after earning billions of dollars in profit. What's next? 4 speaker design from the ipad pro? THIS IS GETTING TOO OLD!

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 20:16 17

13. MrElectrifyer (Posts: 2366; Member since: 21 Oct 2014)


They're just getting back the favors for their stupid rounded-corners lawsuits and a whole bunch of patents they stole...it's long been overdue.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 21:12 2

22. ph00ny (Posts: 1200; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Wait isn't that what they essentially sued other manufacturers for?

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 21:45 1

26. engineer-1701d (Posts: 3271; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


If you didn't know this already the quad speakers came from a concept design for the Samsung Galaxy s4 that's being put on 5 6 & 7 concepts put in any kind of Google search for a galaxy s4 concept and you'll see it's a white beautifully shaped phone that should have been made with quad speakers and a really nice you are Display of the galaxy is the backdrop

posted on 12 Feb 2016, 07:49

56. marorun (Posts: 3393; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


When apple do it its fine when other do it its getting too old.. pathetic!

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 19:09 1

6. lyndon420 (Posts: 3991; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


Bazinga!!

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 19:21 1

7. fyah_king (Posts: 280; Member since: 22 Jul 2013)


Make dem pay!

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 19:39 1

10. kryme (Posts: 329; Member since: 24 Oct 2013)


Yea man.. Apple acting up

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 19:37 2

9. sip1995 (Posts: 1565; Member since: 07 Feb 2014)


Patent troll detected....

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 19:55 21

11. tedkord (Posts: 10675; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Here we go. If you sue Apple, you're a patent troll.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 20:38 2

15. Unordinary (Posts: 1285; Member since: 04 Nov 2015)


But if you're Apple and file a patent, it's a waste apparently LOLLLLLLL.

By the way, I believe (look this up) that Samsung has a significantly larger patent filing database for all their tech (including fridges and stove etc) than Apple, and significantly smaller follow thru percentage on said filed patents. But hey.. *sips tea*

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 21:02 8

20. j2001m (Posts: 2840; Member since: 28 Apr 2014)


Yes, Samsung only goes after when they come after them I.e. nvidia When they tried it on with there Gpu crap, hm and how did that work out for them, hahahhahah

posted on 12 Feb 2016, 01:41 10

38. tedkord (Posts: 10675; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Well, considering that nearly every patent Apple sued Samsung over had been invalidated...

Samsung may have a larger patent database, because they're a much bigger company with hundreds more products. They also aren't suing for sales bans over shapes.

posted on 12 Feb 2016, 08:09 1

57. marorun (Posts: 3393; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


But what if thats company as the patent for years and apple patent it again? they are right to do it?

What if they patent an existing technology just because they put it in a mobile phone?

Want to patent stuff invent fully new stuff and stop been a troll.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 20:13 11

12. MrElectrifyer (Posts: 2366; Member since: 21 Oct 2014)


Hahaha, apple is really getting a lot of it's own medicine lately...well deserved.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 20:26 15

14. ameran (Posts: 258; Member since: 04 Dec 2013)


This isn't the first time Apple is using other's technology without paying any cents. It is unfortunate that they always call these their own revolutionary innovations.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 20:50 1

18. AlikMalix (Posts: 5238; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


Which technologies did Apple cal "their OWN revolutionary innovations"???

Please post links, and references to that technology including who actually developed it. Thank you.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 21:47 9

28. engineer-1701d (Posts: 3271; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Watch any Apple Keynote pick anything the reword it so that it looks like they made it

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 22:53 2

33. AlikMalix (Posts: 5238; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


And they said that made it? They said "we made fingerprint scanners" or "we invented touchscreen".

Or is it "we have something revolutionary to show you" which does not imply they made it, bro. Or "this is the most innovative [thing]", again doesn't mean they're taking the credit. They're just saying that the tech that's in the iPhone is innovative or revolutionary.

The zealous hear what they wanna hear. Yes it's a word game - but every company toots their own horn. Why is Apple the one getting fingers pointed at them.

One of samsungs latest consigns was "leave the wires at home" or w/e. But my toothbrush had inductive charging before android decides were even a though deep inside the goggles basement...

Yes, everyone promotes things with fancy words - but I reviewed apples keynotes and they don't claim that they solely invented features in their phones - they rename it because, what do you know, it's applied differently than the tech it was based on.

Don't you notice, that the only ones claiming that Apple "innovated" some little feature that they're adding are the hater-bandwagon that plastering all tech forums with "watch they are gonna claim it as innovation - just like the post I replied to".

Maybe I'm biased and I don't see it, but I'm still waiting for these people to show me a product that Apple claimed they invented that wasnt theirs. I asked this question before, and I got a half ass answer without any link to support or show which company that Apple is taking credit for.

posted on 12 Feb 2016, 08:11 2

59. marorun (Posts: 3393; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


Alik Did samsung sue the toothbrush company for this? or did the toothbrush company sue Samsung? nope Apple would this is wrong!

posted on 12 Feb 2016, 13:47

64. VZWuser76 (Posts: 3918; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


That's part of the problem right there. Taking tech that's already been patented, changing the name, and using it on another platform isn't innovation. It's adapting existing tech to another platform, no more no less.

I could put ABS on a quad runner and patent it and claim it as my own while I'm actually using the same tech that's implemented in cars and that would be okay, because it's in an ATV, not a car.

The way it used to be is that at most you could patent an improvement to an existing patent, but you would only own the improvement itself, not the entirety of the patent. But patents were cross platform, it didn't matter if it was used in home or mobile computers, cars or boats, if it used the same thought process, it didn't matter where it was implemented. Now apparently if it's used in a lab, in a home PC, or a mobile device, those each require individual patents. So if the original inventor doesn't get patents for every possible implementation, someone else can make use of their IP in another implementation.

posted on 12 Feb 2016, 14:54

66. AlikMalix (Posts: 5238; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


Thanks for replies. But I still don't see Apple claiming they invented something that's not theirs. I'll have to look over multitouch debacle as it's the only thing you guys are referencing to. So far there was a debacle with Elan microelectronics where they did reach an easy agreement and decided to Cross-license certain patents, makes Apple legally to use multitouch tech and in some details sue others for using that tech maybe on behalf of their new partner.

But you're all missing one point - some of you are so hung up on Apple adding features (which look, act, and applied differently) that you keep chanting your "innovation" comments when Apple isnt the one making those comments - but Apple haters do.

posted on 12 Feb 2016, 15:29

67. tedkord (Posts: 10675; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


You're moving the goalposts. You asked for an example of Apple claiming to invent something they didn't. Steve Jobs stated in the iPhone announcement that they had invented multi-touch. They didn't. Nobody is claiming they couldn't license or use it, just that they took credit for its invention.

posted on 12 Feb 2016, 17:37

70. VZWuser76 (Posts: 3918; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


Given the fact that the multitouch patent was one of the patents they accused Samsung of infringing upon, they certainly seemed to believe they had ownership of it. Otherwise you can't sue someone over a patent you have no ownership of, only the original inventor can do that.

posted on 12 Feb 2016, 17:35

69. VZWuser76 (Posts: 3918; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


First, I wasn't talking about that. I was referring to your commentcomment about them renaming IP and using it differently. In the case of multi touch, how is it being used differently? They're placing two fingers on a touchscreen and using it to perform actions that wouldn't be possible with a single touch. How is that being applied differently than it was by the people who invented it did?

And that was the point of my post. It's being used the same, just on a different device. I don't see that as a significant change to the way the inventors implemented it. If you incorporate brakes into a car, is it any different than if they're installed on a motorcycle or an ATV? The only thing different is the product their being used in. So if someone invents something, should they have to patent it for any and all possible products it can be used in? If there are separate components that are necessary to facilitate it's implementation into a different product, then you can claim that you invented that portion of it, but you can't claim ownership of the underlying IP, only what you added to make it work. At least that's how it used to work with the Patent System.

posted on 12 Feb 2016, 01:42 1

39. tedkord (Posts: 10675; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Multi-touch.

posted on 12 Feb 2016, 02:45 5

43. meanestgenius (Posts: 10449; Member since: 28 May 2014)


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-touch

Listed in here, citation #22, Apple claimed to have created multi-touch.

posted on 14 Feb 2016, 00:34

75. AlikMalix (Posts: 5238; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


Mainstream exposure to multi-touch technology occurred in 2007 when the iPhone gained popularity, with Apple stating they "invented multi touch" as part of the iPhone announcement,[22] however both the function and the term predate the announcement or patent requests, EXCEPT FOR such area of application as capacitive mobile screens, which did not exist before Fingerworks/Apple's technology (Fingerworks filed patents in 2001–2005,[23] subsequent multi-touch refinements were patented by Apple[24]).

Let me repeat that:
EXCEPT FOR... EXCEPT FOR such area of application as capacitive mobile screens, which did not exist before Fingerworks/Apple's technology (Fingerworks filed patents in 2001–2005,[23] subsequent multi-touch REFINEMENTS were patented by Apple[24]).

SO APPLE did in fact (along with fingerworks) invent multitouch for the mobile screen. Yes they were bold in their statement, but they're half correct.

But that's fine, lets say Apple did get ahead of themselves when they were FIRST to introduce multitouch on the mobile phone... And hastily claimed the entire thing instead of only the half that they invented.

Is there anything else that Apple claimed? The original post above that i repelled to (and many more like it) they're trying to make it sound like Apple always claims someone else's work - when they just claim to be the first to do something else with that tech. Why is it with every thing that Apple has introduced either copied form android or developed themselves haters keep posting stupid things like "innovation" or "Apple gonna claim they invented "pink".

It's annoying because they themselves crest this meme that Apple does it just from writing this bs over and over again. And that's what I'm trying to point out.

When I read some details on Apple patents, it's usually a more efficient manufacturing that's patented - not the product, or the machine to make something that patented not the product. Or how it's applied and responds that's patented not the feature, and so on. But these idiots see a picture - and assume that's what patented. Do you guys understand what I'm saying?

posted on 14 Feb 2016, 06:31 1

77. meanestgenius (Posts: 10449; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Alik, any way you slice it, Apple made a false claim. They didn't even mention Fingerworks in their original statement claiming to have created multitouch. Multitouch ITSELF was invented before Apple got to it. Apple, with Fingerworks, just APPLIED it to mobile phone screens. Apple has a habit of attemting to rewrite history to suit themselves.

Don't get me wrong: Apple has innovated before. They totally turned the smartphone market on its ear for a while. But not only has just about everyone in the smartphone space caught up to Apple, they SURPASSED Apple in terms of innovation. Apple has become lazy and complacent, and that's mainly due to its user base just accepting what Apple has CHOSEN to give them as opposed to DEMANDING more from Apple. And how do you demand more from Apple? With your wallets. With your checkbook. With your credit cards. With your bank account. By choosing NOT to spend the money on Apple products until they begin to innovate again.

I own Apple products (iPhone 6s plus and an iPad Air 2) and have PREVIOUSLY owned every iteration of the iPhone (with the exception of the "5" series, and the iPads 1 and 2, as well as the iPad mini 1, and 2) so I'm not some hating troll spewing nonsense about products I've never used and never intend use, much like MXYZPTLK does on BlackBerry-related articles. But I refuse to spend my hard-earned cash on any more Apple products until they start innovating again.

posted on 14 Feb 2016, 06:36

78. meanestgenius (Posts: 10449; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Meant to say I've also previously owned the iPads 1 and 2, as well as the iPad mini 1 and 2.

posted on 12 Feb 2016, 05:15 3

52. willard12 (Posts: 1560; Member since: 04 Jul 2012)


Apple pretty much calls every innovation their own and says everyone steals from them.

"We can't be the innovators for the world."
"We just want people to invent their own stuff."
-Tim Cook

All the while, taking slide to unlock, 4g, force touch, and pretty much everything else they got invalidated. And when they do admit they steal, they want to tell the judge what they will pay.

posted on 12 Feb 2016, 08:10

58. marorun (Posts: 3393; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


3d touch tech? lol and the link ishttp://www.phonearena.com/news/Immersion-sues-Apple-over-3D-Touch-and-other-haptic-technology_id78266/

posted on 12 Feb 2016, 08:49

60. TBomb (Posts: 703; Member since: 28 Dec 2012)


I think that's the article URL we're in right now Marorun

posted on 12 Feb 2016, 09:19 2

61. MrElectrifyer (Posts: 2366; Member since: 21 Oct 2014)


Lol, I think that's the point; Alik is asking a question when an answer is right there in front of him...

posted on 12 Feb 2016, 11:42

63. TBomb (Posts: 703; Member since: 28 Dec 2012)


I'm on my game today! haha

posted on 12 Feb 2016, 15:31

68. tedkord (Posts: 10675; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Are you kidding? I've spent the last six hours clicking that link, reading the comments, clicking that link when I get to it again, over and over. It's a recursive link?

posted on 12 Feb 2016, 17:39

71. VZWuser76 (Posts: 3918; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


Or asking how do you keep a fanboy in suspense?

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 20:44 5

16. zeppo (Posts: 61; Member since: 21 Jul 2015)


biggest thief in modern era. How many time did they lost so far? 4-5 or maybe more?

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 20:48

17. AlikMalix (Posts: 5238; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


If these guys really figured out the tech behind this that makes it work, Apple should pay millions! 3D Touch is a huge deal - every device is going to get it in a year just like FP sensors. Immersion company are geniuses - this is really great tech - I've been using it on my iPhone and will not get another device without forcetouch. Apple needs to compensate these guys for the hard work they did building a tech to make this possible....

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 21:05 3

21. j2001m (Posts: 2840; Member since: 28 Apr 2014)


You are up on Samsung owning a crap load of patents on this tech right??

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 23:06

34. AlikMalix (Posts: 5238; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


Does Apple own any patents on this tech? Or it's only relevant if Samsung or this immersion company owns them?

posted on 12 Feb 2016, 04:40

50. Shocky (unregistered)


No, they don't own any.

It's not their technology so I half expected this.

Apple are only good at finding ways to utilize existing technology differently, which works great if you do it well, however if your not careful it comes back to bite you in the ass.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 21:50 6

29. engineer-1701d (Posts: 3271; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Screw millions we're talking billions since they sold so many iPhones and tablets that have the song they need to either stop production and pay for what has been put out and sold wallpaper billions for stolen technology

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 23:10

35. AlikMalix (Posts: 5238; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


Hey if they "stole" the tech that these guys developed - yes Apple should pay, but billions weren't made yet with just the devices that use forcetouch, and isn't the patent only for peek&pop of the entire galore or 3D Touch features?

But fair is fair, if these guys can prove that they have made this technology or at least drew out the same application, manufacturing of, technology behind it, and interface - then Apple owes them BIG, because this reinvents the rightclick for the touchscreen.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 20:55 3

19. belovedson (Posts: 986; Member since: 30 Nov 2010)


I am positive Apple checks patent office for similar technology prior to marketing their products. They are powerful to the point they don't care about violating patents and settling in court by either paying the patent fees or simply buying off the company.

This arrogant behavior is coming to the surface more frequently than before. I think Apple should sponsor Tom Brady. If cheating is part of the competition. They go hand and hand.

Apple sponsor Tom. Tom continue to find advantages to exploit so you can win just like Apple. Good job representing our country you fools

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 21:52 1

30. engineer-1701d (Posts: 3271; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Write the even stole the iPhone name and the iPad name

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 21:20 1

24. Trakker (Posts: 283; Member since: 11 Feb 2016)


All these patent cases are destroying innovation in the tech world, But Apple is one of the biggest patent trolls in history so I'm glad every time they lose so the money goes back to companies that can actually do something good with the money.

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