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Activision/Blizzard being sued for virtual world infringement

Activision/Blizzard being sued for virtual world infringement

Activision Blizzard is being sued by Worlds Inc., for violating a patent on virtual worlds. The firm claims that games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft violate its patent, and are requesting "fair compensation."

Read more: Patent covers 'enabling users to interact in a virtual space' »

""While we are pleased to see that the gaming industry and its rapidly growing customer base have ..."
- rottdcorpse    See all 60 comments

TimeGate wins Section 8 dispute

TimeGate wins Section 8 dispute

Thanks to the ruling of a Texas district court judge, Section 8 developer TimeGate Studios won't be forced to pay millions in allegedly misused development funds to publisher SouthPeak, nor will SouthPeak retain a permanent license for the Section 8 IP and its sequels. The dispute originated way back in 2009, when Timegate sued SouthPeak for allegedly embezzling royalties by altering revenue reports. At the time, SouthPeak counter-sued, claiming that $7.5M in funding had been "misused" by the developer, in addition to $2.5M in development costs TimeGate failed to provide.

Read more: TimeGate retains permanent license»

"What are you talking about, they've published Two Worlds, Velvet Assassin...okay, yeah. ..."
- GreggD    See all 4 comments

Tobacco-style warning on video games proposed by US bill

Related Topics – Legal
Tobacco-style warning on video games proposed by US bill

Once again, video games are being used for a spot of political grandstanding, and in a familiar way. Not for the first time, a bipartisan pair of US congressmen have introduced a bill that would require almost every video game box to bear a warning label reading, "WARNING: Exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behavior."

Read more: ESA calls bill unconstitutional »

"Throughout man's history here, nothing is responsible for more bloodshed on this planet than ..."
- ironhorse86    See all 84 comments

Mojang and ZeniMax settle Scrolls trademark dispute

Mojang and ZeniMax settle Scrolls trademark dispute

Update: (9:43 a.m.) ZeniMax comment added.

2011's slightly silly legal battle between Bethesda parent company ZeniMax and Minecraft developer Mojang over the name 'Scrolls' has drawn to a close with a settlement that sees both parties getting what they wanted -- sort of. The Swedish indie will be allowed to use that name for its digital collectible card game, but is handing the trademark over to ZeniMax.

Read more: "Yey" says Mojang »

"Fuck. That. Black Marsh should be their first game in the new engine."
- AgentPothead    See all 5 comments

Patent lawsuit takes aim at microtransactions

Related Topics – Legal
Patent lawsuit takes aim at microtransactions

The company Gametek LLC has filed a lawsuit against 21 of the biggest social gaming companies, claiming that their free-to-play, microtransaction-based titles infringe on a patent filed in 2000. Among the companies caught in the suit are Facebook, Zynga, Electronic Arts, Gameview, Wooga, and 6Waves.

Read more: Patent covers 'transaction of advantages' »

"there are a lot of companies that secure patents for things they will never use just to cash in ..."
- Dark Drakonis    See all 7 comments

Nintendo suit dismissed, says it won't 'succumb to patent trolls'

Nintendo suit dismissed, says it won't 'succumb to patent trolls'

Nintendo announced that it has secured another legal victory today, after a Maryland US District judge dismissed a patent infringement suit against the company. The suit from IA Labs CA, LLC had alleged that various Nintendo products including Wii Fit, Wii Fit Plus, and the Balance Board accessory infringed on one of its patents.

"We refuse to succumb to patent trolls," said Nintendo's senior VP of legal & general counsel Rick Flamm.

Read more: Nintendo's third consecutive patent victory »

"One of the reasons why I will never buy an apple product is Apple became the one of the worst ..."
- Saldrin    See all 5 comments

Oklahoma violent games tax defeated in House

Related Topics – Legal
Oklahoma violent games tax defeated in House

The proposed Oklahoma bill that would add a 1% tax on violent video games has been defeated in a state House subcommittee. A proposed revision would create a task force to investigate the causes of childhood obesity and aggression, and it was subsequently defeated as well.

Read more: 'It's not a good idea' says fellow OK representative »

"Wait, you're surprised that people in government would try to pass possibly illegal, definitely ..."
- Herman Toothrot    See all 12 comments

Oklahoma House considering violent games tax

Related Topics – Legal
Oklahoma House considering violent games tax

A new bill before the Oklahoma State Legislature proposes an additional tax on Teen, Mature, and Adults Only games. Bill HB 2696 was proposed by Representative William Fourkiller, and would put the extra revenue generated by the tax to go towards programs aimed at solving bullying and childhood obesity.

Read more: 1% extra on any game above Teen »

"Reasonable? If I wanted to give my money to that cause, I would give it to them. I don't need ..."
- ketsyn    See all 44 comments

California to reimburse ESA for Supreme Court legal fees

Related Topics – Legal, Supreme Court, California, ESA, EMA
California to reimburse ESA for Supreme Court legal fees

The Supreme Court ruled last year that video games are protected as free speech, but lawsuits are expensive. That's why, once the dust settled on the court case, the Entertainment Software Association requested $1.1 million in reimbursement from the state of California. The state has agreed to pay most of that amount, and the ESA will donate a portion to a new self-started California charity initiative.

Read more: Charity will teach kids job skills »

"So even the people who didn't vote for any of the officials should blame themselves for what the ..."
- TheDr7    See all 6 comments

SOPA and PIPA placed on hold

SOPA and PIPA placed on hold

The US Senate's Protect IP Act (PIPA) and House's Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) have been put on hold following a large-scale Internet protest on Wednesday. Several Web sites including Wikipedia had a voluntary black-out, alerting users to contact their representatives regarding the controversial legislation.

"In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday's vote on the PROTECT IP Act," said a statement from Senator Harry Reid (D-NV).

Read more: 'We need to revisit the approach' »

"Speaking of China, isn't it funny that the most regulated internet in the world has such huge ..."
- DragonSire    See all 8 comments

Whistle-blower alleges 'unlawful' practices at Codemasters

Related Topics – Bodycount, Legal, Codemasters, Semi Essessi
Whistle-blower alleges 'unlawful' practices at Codemasters

A former Codemasters employee has publicly accused the publisher of unlawful business practices. Semi Essessi, programmer on the flop Bodycount, claims that Codemasters has threatened former staff with bankruptcy proceedings over a dispute regarding wages the company claims were mistakenly paid out.

Once a programmer at Codemaster's shuttered Guildford, England, studio, Essessi paints a picture of a workplace where his employer failed to pay employees overtime or comply with labor laws.

Read more: 'No effort to enforce' labor standards »

"interesting... there's always two sides to a story though im a professional in finance and ..."
- Ducky_dky    See all 8 comments

Bethesda settles with Interplay, MMO license is 'null and void'

Bethesda settles with Interplay, MMO license is 'null and void'

A settlement has been reached in the case between ZeniMax Media subsidiary Bethesda Softworks and Interplay Entertainment surrounding the fate of an MMO set in the Fallout universe.

Interplay had retained the right to make a Fallout MMO when it licensed, then later sold, the Fallout IP to Bethesda in 2007. The original agreement stipulated that Interplay must enter "full-scale" development with a minimum of $30 million in funding by April 4, 2009, in order to retain rights to the title. Bethesda had claimed that the conditions were not met and so Interplay's license was automatically cancelled, which Interplay naturally contested.

Under the terms of the settlement, all rights granted to Interplay in order to develop a Fallout MMO have reverted back to Bethesda, effective immediately.

Read more: Details on the settlement »

"It'd just be such a mammoth undertaking. I doubt we'd see it anytime soon. I mean, they'd have ..."
- Yumcheese    See all 24 comments

Top News of 2011: Supreme Court protects games

Top News of 2011: Supreme Court protects games

If we measure the events of this year in pure potential fallout, the case of Schwarzenegger vs. EMA was by far the biggest. Borne from a California law drafted by Senator Leeland Yee, the case granted the state the power to levy large fines for failing to put special warning labels on games. More so, it would have made selling objectionable video games to minors a criminal offense. Games would be singled out in this regard; retailers of movies, books, and music are discouraged from selling mature content to minors, but it’s not against the law. In effect, games would be considered a greater threat than any other media type.

Read more: The Supreme Court rules in favor of games »

"Breyer and Thomas. Breyer and Thomas dissented on entirely different rationales. "
- pigvomit    See all 11 comments

Nintendo, Sony, EA drop SOPA support

Nintendo, Sony, EA drop SOPA support

Three high-profile games industry companies have dropped their financial support of the Stop Online Piracy Act, the controversial legislation that has received backlash from corners of the Internet. Nintendo, Sony, and EA were listed as sponsors of a letter supporting the bill, but their names have now been pulled from an updated list.

Read more: ESA, Sony music publishing still support SOPA »

"Dropped support, my ass! They're all still supporting them! Quit spreading lies, Shacknews!"
- TwwIX    See all 16 comments

Ubisoft injunction against THQ struck down in Quebec appeals court

Related Topics – Ubisoft, THQ, Legal
Ubisoft injunction against THQ struck down in Quebec appeals court

Though the Superior Court of Quebec ordered THQ to stop poaching talent from Ubisoft in March 2011, an appeals court has sided with THQ. The ruling, which THQ celebrated in press release form, halts Ubisoft's injunction.

THQ's statement revealed that the Quebec Court of Appeal for the District of Montreal had "unanimously" ruled in its favor. The original injunction filed by Ubisoft sought to prohibit THQ from "soliciting Ubisoft employees who were to THQ's knowledge bound by a non-compete provision with Ubisoft."

Read more: Patrice Désilets at the 'centre' of the argument »

"These guys who lead these projects get different kinds of contracts where more money is at stake. "
- Lucy Labia    See all 5 comments

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