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Apple sued over 3D Touch-related patent infringement

by Jacob Kleinman | February 12, 2016February 12, 2016 9:15 am PST

Apple rolled out 3D Touch last year for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus after introducing a similar Force Touch feature with the Apple Watch. However, one firm claims it’s been working on the same technology for 20 years and has the patents to back it up. Now it’s taking Apple to court.

Immersion Corporation is suing Apple (and AT&T) for infringing on three of its patents focused on haptic feedback as a way to provide tactile sensations for mobile devices. The lawsuit covers a handful of devices, including all Apple Watch models and the last two years of iPhones starting with the iPhone 6.

The company says it wants to block the import and sale of Apple’s devices in the U.S. and recover any damages. Immersion also notes that it’s happy to see other firms adopting haptic feedback, but still needs to protect its intellectual property.

“Touch matters, as it informs, excites and humanizes the digital world we interact with every day,” said Immersion CEO Victor Viegas, adding that the company “will vigorously defend the intellectual property we have developed when it is infringed.”

It’s unclear how the current lawsuit will shake out. Immersion has sued a handful of tech giants, including Sony, Microsoft and Google/Motorola, in the past with mixed results.

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...