Sony mends fences with Immersion

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Sony mends fences with Immersion

Japanese giant to pay US$150.3m in new licensing deal.

Sony Computer Entertainment has ended its legal battle with hardware developer Immersion Corporation after the two companies agreed to a combined legal payment and licensing deal that will cost Sony more than US$150m. 

The deal ends a five-year feud over Sony's use of Immersion's 'touch feedback' technology in the joystick controllers for its PlayStation and PlayStation 2 games consoles.

A jury ruled in favour of Immersion in 2004, but Sony had appealed against the decision.  

A spokesperson for Immersion told that the financial deal is broken into three parts. US$97.2m comes from the original judgment, against which Sony has agreed to withdraw its appeal. 

An additional US$30.6m will be paid for deferred revenue owed to Immersion over the past two years.

Finally, Sony will pay US$22.5m as part of a new deal to license Immersion's technology through to 2009. The money will be transferred over a series of 12 payments.

Immersion chief executive Victor Viegas said in a written statement that he is "pleased to have put this litigation behind us".

Kazuo Hirai, president and group chief operating officer at Sony Computer Entertainment, added: "We are excited about our new partnership with Immersion and the potential for innovative products incorporating their technologies."
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