31 August 2016
Reporter: Barney Dixon

BT turns on Valve to let off steam

British Telecommunications (BT) has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against the creator of the Steam video game platform.

BT claimed that Valve committed continued, willful infringement of four patents with various aspects of the Steam application.

“[Valve] offers a broad range of products and services which incorporate technologies invented by BT. These include Valve’s Steam Library, Valve’s Steam Chat, Valve’s Steam Messaging and Valve’s Steam Broadcasting,” the complaint stated, which was filed in the US District Court of the District of Delaware.

The complaint went on to allege that Valve ignored BT’s entreaties for licensing discussions.

“On multiple occasions, BT has notified Valve of its infringement of the patents-in-suit which incorporate patented technologies that include, digital rights management, broadcasting, voice and chat, and messaging, and requested that Valve enter into discussions with BT to address it, eg, through a licensing arrangement.”

The complaint later cited an example of BT’s “notification”, stating that on 8 October 2015, the chief counsel for intellectual property rights at BT sent a letter to Valve’s general counsel, identifying the infringed patents and providing clear notice that Valve infringed them.

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