Google reaches settlement in haptic-feedback patent suit

The deal with Immersion settles a nearly year-old lawsuit originally filed against Motorola.

Google has settled a patent lawsuit over haptic feedback; will other handset makers follow?

The haptic feedback that improves touch typing on Android smartphones is going to cost Google -- and it may soon cost other Android manufacturers, too.

Google confirmed today that it has settled a patent-infringement lawsuit with Immersion, a touch-feedback technology company, for an undisclosed sum. Immersion filed the suit in February in an effort to block Motorola Mobility phones from being imported into the United States. The suit was filed before Google closed its purchase of Motorola for $12.5 billion.

"The successful resolution of this case is a critical step in our overall strategy of enforcing and monetizing our intellectual property, including Basic Haptics, and we're pleased to achieve a settlement that is consistent with our business model, which is largely based on per unit running royalties," Immersion CEO Victor Viegas said in a statement.

As The Next Web notes, Immersion also has filed a lawsuit against Android manufacturer HTC, which also makes use of haptic feedback in its devices. That case has not been settled, and the Google settlement might pressure HTC to make a deal.

Both sides declined to comment to CNET. It's worth noting that the publicly traded Immersion said the settlement would not "materially" affect earnings, indicating the settlement may not have been all that large. The company says it has 1,200 current and pending patents in the haptic-feedback arena.

Correction, November 30 at 7:17 p.m. PT:This article originally stated that Immersion and Samsung are in litigation. That is not so.

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