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Apple being sued for familiar vibrations

Apple is facing legal action from haptic feedback technology company Immersion.

Immersion asserts that Apple has infringed its patents with three product lines. The iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, and the Apple Watch are all implicated.

Specifically, the aforementioned devices are said to have infringed Immersion’s “Haptic Feedback System with Stored Effects” US patent, as well as one for “Method and Apparatus for Providing Tactile Sensations.”

The iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, meanwhile, are also being accused of infringing upon Immersion’s “Interactivity Model for Shared Feedback on Mobile Devices” patent.

Apple has long used vibration motors in its devices for notifying of calls and alerts. However, it has switched to more advanced systems in recent models. The most notable shift, as Apple Insider points out, was when the company switched to the “Taptic Engine” of the Apple Watch in 2014, which then made its way into the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus as a vital part of the 3D Touch system.

Related: What is 3D Touch?

“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,” said Immersion CEO Victor Viegas. “We will vigorously defend the intellectual property we have developed when it is infringed.”

Immersion is seeking compensation as well as a sales injunction on the offending products in the US.

Check out our race around London with the Apple Watch:

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