Sony Corp., the world's second- largest consumer-electronics maker, agreed to pay Immersion Corp. $150.3 million to end a patent dispute over technology used in Sony's PlayStation video-game console.
Immersion, a San Jose, California-based software developer, will get a $97.2 million court judgment, plus royalties totaling at least $53.1 million, Chief Financial Officer Stephen Ambler said today in an interview. Immersion shares jumped as much as 38 percent in after-hours trading.
''We look forward to exploring with Immersion exciting new ways to bring the largest and best range of gameplay experiences to our customers,'' Kazuo Hirai, president of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., said in a joint statement.
A jury in Oakland, California, found in September 2004 that Tokyo-based Sony infringed two Immersion patents for so-called haptic technology, used in PlayStation and PlayStation 2 consoles to make game controllers vibrate with the onscreen action. The jury awarded $82 million, which grew to $90.7 million with the judge's addition of interest and costs.
With interest, that figure increased to $97.2 million, Ambler said. Sony also paid about $30.6 million as a compulsory license for the past two years, money which Immersion treated as deferred revenue. Sony will make 12 more quarterly licensing payments totaling $22.5 million through the end of 2009 and may pay other royalties during the period, Ambler said.
''We are pleased to have put this litigation behind us,'' Victor Viegas, Immersion's chief executive officer, said in the joint statement. Immersion, with total sales of $24.3 million in 2005, hasn't reported an annual profit since first selling shares to the public in 1999.