Court Sends Jurors Steam Controllers in First Zoom Patent Jury Trial

Ironburg Inventions Ltd. v. Valve Corporation
Case No. 2:17-cv-01182
United States District Court for the Western District of Washington
Filed December 3, 2015

Ironburg Inventions Ltd. (“Ironburg”) is suing Valve Corporation (“Valve”) in the first patent jury trial to be held over Zoom. Ironburg claims that Valve’s Steam Controller infringes its U.S. Patent Nos. 8,641,525 and 9,089,770 for controllers with back controls operated by a user’s middle fingers, which conventional controllers do not have.

To aid the jury in its determination, the Court ordered that each juror be mailed a Steam Controller so that they may reference it during the Zoom trial. The Court instructed jurors “not to open the boxes or inspect the devices until told to do so.” In its response to the Court’s order, Ironburg stated that it does not object to this plan, provided that it may also view the devices to “ensure all parties agree the correct devices are sent to and received by the jurors . . . in an attempt to mirror the procedure for physical evidence that would likely be employed for an in-person jury trial.” Valve did not submit a response objecting to the Court’s order.