Apple Inc. has been hit with a fresh lawsuit by Californian haptic feedback developer Immersion over claims that the Cupertino Company’s Force Touch and 3D Touch technology infringes on its patents.
Immersion, which claims to have been working on haptic technology for past 20 years, says it strongly believes that Apple has infringed upon three of its patents for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s 3D Touch and MacBook’s Force Touch technologies. The company has also filed lawsuits against AT&T and AT&T Mobility.
The infringed patents are titled as “Haptic feedback system with stored effects,” “Method and Apparatus for Providing Tactile Sensations,” ’ which is a specific type of haptic feedback in response to a particular action from a user, and “Interactivity Model for Shared Feedback on Mobile Devices.”
Immersion CEO, Victor Viegas, said, “While we are pleased to see others in the industry recognize the value of haptics and adopt it in their products, it is important for us to protect our business against infringement of our intellectual property in order to preserve the ecosystem we have built and the investments that we have made in continuing to advance haptic experiences.
“We will vigorously defend the intellectual property we have developed when it is infringed.”
According to the CEO, AT&T is named in the suit because it sold Apple’s products, offered guides, directions, and other materials that “encourage and facilitate infringing use by others.”
Apple introduced Force Touch on the MacBook and Apple Watch last year. Later in the same year, the company launched the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus, which feature 3D Touch. The latter is a pressure sensitive display that can gauge a range of pressure levels, and perform actions accordingly.
The Force Touch is a feature available on MacBook’s trackpad and the Apple Watch’s display. It also uses triggers a range of different actions with different pressure input.