D&D Online, LOTRO studio facing patent lawsuit

By Steve Watts, Oct 12, 2012 12:30pm PDT

Turbine Inc, the studio behind Dungeons & Dragons Online and Lord of the Rings Online, is facing a patent infringement suit from Ontario-based web company Treehouse. The suit claims that Turbine's games infringe Treehouse's patent for collecting real-time data on user choices.

GamePolitics reports that the patent, awarded on May 15, 2012, is for the "method and system for presenting data over a network based on network user choices and collecting real-time data related to said choices." Treehouse claims that since the games tally the number of times users select certain character attributes, they've infringed upon the patent.

"But wait," you might be saying to yourself. "Both of those games have been around since long before May 15." Good catch, and welcome to the justice system. Sometimes lawsuits are pretty dumb.

Treehouse is seeking a permanent injunction, damages and attorney's fees. But as long as Turbine can show it was collecting data in this manner before May, it doesn't seem likely that Treehouse will get its wishes granted.

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