Activision/Blizzard being sued for virtual world infringement

Activision Blizzard is being sued by Worlds Inc. The company claims games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft violate its patent for "enabling users to interact in a virtual space."

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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."

The patent covers a "system and method for enabling users to interact in a virtual space," reports Games Industry International. That may sound broad, but the company did manage to get an undisclosed settlement out of NCSoft for City of Heroes in 2010.

"Technologies created by Worlds have helped the businesses of virtual worlds gaming and the sale of virtual goods to grow into a multi-billion dollar industry," said Worlds CEO Thom Kidrin. "While we are pleased to see that the gaming industry and its rapidly growing customer base have enthusiastically embraced our patented technologies, we deserve fair compensation for their use."

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 13, 2012 7:00 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Activision/Blizzard being sued for virtual world infringement.

    Activision Blizzard is being sued by Worlds Inc. The company claims games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft violate its patent for "enabling users to interact in a virtual space."

    • reply
      April 13, 2012 7:01 AM

      Oh software patents, what will you do next?

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      April 13, 2012 7:07 AM

      * V R M L ' D *

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      April 13, 2012 7:14 AM

      This patent is filed in fucking 2009. World of Warcraft had been out 5 years by then.

      And from skimming the claims, it seems to be about moving an avatar in a virtual world and another client seeing that via a server. This has prior art going back quite a long time I'd say. If it has to be three dimensional I guess at least back to Duke 3D?

      Fucking bullshit.

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      April 13, 2012 7:15 AM

      lol

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      April 13, 2012 7:15 AM

      This is why the patent system is broken. You should not be able to patent general "ideas" or "concepts".

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        April 13, 2012 7:18 AM

        I plan on patenting the idea of a patent and suing the patent office.

        I mean, no one's patented it yet, right? Seems like there should be no problem.

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      April 13, 2012 7:23 AM

      Brb, patenting a system where people interact on websites, by writing words. The users can then exchange words in this system. Exclusively, some users can use a goat.cx picture as their online 'avatar'.

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      April 13, 2012 7:25 AM

      jesus. I say if you don't do anything with your patent you can't sue. that'd be nice.

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      April 13, 2012 7:31 AM

      I've got the prior art right here
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everquest

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      April 13, 2012 7:38 AM

      Fucking lol. Watching this get squashed will be entertaining.

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      April 13, 2012 8:33 AM

      if you had an idea... and wanted to patent it... are you saying you wouldnt want a slice of the pie that someone made from your ingredients and didnt offer you any ?

      Young people wont understand.. I get that...

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        April 13, 2012 8:37 AM

        really makes you think...

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        April 13, 2012 8:38 AM

        Ideas are a dime a dozen. You have to have some sort of implemnetation of the idea. Also, CONCEPTS don't count.

        A system for absorbing light to produce and image. LOOKING? LOOKING CAN BE PATENTED? FUCK YOU

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          April 13, 2012 8:42 AM

          not fuck YOU, just you know, fuck the patent system.

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          April 13, 2012 8:48 AM

          Don't patent looking, you're loosing out on a lot of possible revenue from blind people!

          Next step: "a system for expanding and contracting the diaphragm which causes the lungs to intake environmental gases"

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        April 13, 2012 8:45 AM

        Fortunately for pie makers, monopolies are illegal and most ingredients are treated as commodities.

      • Zek
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        April 13, 2012 8:59 AM

        Lots of people have ideas on their own and some of them are amazing. But if they don't actually put any work into making that idea a reality then they don't deserve a thing. Should NASA owe money to the first guy that wrote a sci fi novel about space flight?

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        April 13, 2012 9:03 AM

        you need to come up with an idea to get a patent. you just need to find an existing idea that nobody else thought of patenting

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        April 13, 2012 9:05 AM

        By the way do you actually believe that anyone, ANYONE actually consulted or somehow made use of that patent when coming up with a 3d game, seriously

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        April 13, 2012 9:07 AM

        Look at this entitled motherfucker. "I had an idea! People should pay me!"

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        April 13, 2012 2:26 PM

        I'm going to patent the process of making terrible posts on a video gaming news website, and then sue you for infringement.

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        April 13, 2012 2:49 PM

        "Young people won't understand", is probably the best part of this post.

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        April 13, 2012 3:18 PM

        if one person had some bacon, are you telling me you wouldn't want some bacon?

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          April 13, 2012 4:04 PM

          Are you holding out on bacon from me? I will hunt you down like the dog you are!!

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          April 14, 2012 9:36 AM

          If that first person had to get up off the couch and go into the kitchen to get the bacon, then that second person should get up off their ass and go make his own damn bacon.

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      April 13, 2012 8:45 AM

      How vague can patents really be? Almost every game around "enables users to interact in a virtual space".. That's got to be the dumbest, broadest patent ever.

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        April 13, 2012 9:40 AM

        There's no way I'm going to defend our terrible patent system, but it is true that lay-people often misunderstand what patents actually cover. The abstract and the description in a patent really don't mean very much.

        The only legally significant portion of a patent is the list of claims. These are written in a particular legal style which is a pain to decipher, but often a patent will appear to have a very broad scope but when you get down to the claims you discover that it is somewhat narrowly defined. Here's a link that might help: http://www.bpmlegal.com/howtopat5.html

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      April 13, 2012 8:53 AM

      Well I'm going to patent the idea of a time machine, so if anyone builds one I'm gonna sue them and make money for having the idea.

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        April 14, 2012 11:27 PM

        Goes back in time and files patent before you

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      April 13, 2012 9:08 AM

      I'm going to patent the earth. Fuck it, I'll patent the universe.

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      April 13, 2012 9:08 AM

      The USPTO office can be lazy sometimes and shitty patents slip by. These guys probably know they have a thin claim so they're hoping for some fuck off money in settlement. Most likely, if this thing goes to court the patent will go by-by for a variety of reasons.

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      April 13, 2012 9:09 AM

      HAHAHA what in the fuck...?

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      April 13, 2012 9:18 AM

      lolwut

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      April 13, 2012 9:47 AM

      has anyone patented the idea of having an idea?

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      April 13, 2012 10:59 AM

      Jesus christ... When do we start to renovate the patent system so that this crap doesn't happen.

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      April 13, 2012 11:36 AM

      I would like to sue the entire Human Race on my patented method of breathing. Since you all use it, you must all accept your court summons. I will gladly take an undisclosed amount instead to get this over with. BUT! Should you keep breathing in a manner that keeps you alive without compensating me... SO HELP ME!

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      April 13, 2012 1:37 PM

      For once I'm on the side of the huge, faceless corporation. I hope Activision crushes this Kidrin clown like a bug.

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      April 13, 2012 2:29 PM

      Does that mean I'm violating the patent right now by posting this?

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      April 13, 2012 2:34 PM

      You guys all owe me money because I just patented breathing air and you can't do it without paying me loads of money.

      >:D

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        April 13, 2012 3:00 PM

        who should i make the check out to? the chrome team?

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        April 13, 2012 3:10 PM

        By: ]aratex[ x

        Don't patent looking, you're loosing out on a lot of possible revenue from blind people!

        Next step: "a system for expanding and contracting the diaphragm which causes the lungs to intake environmental gases"

        Sorry, but that idea was taken already. Patent denied.

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      April 13, 2012 3:12 PM

      The next Assassin's Creed should be about going after people like this.

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      April 13, 2012 3:15 PM

      Also he should sue Mythic and Verant for preemptively stealing his idea.

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        April 13, 2012 4:25 PM

        Verants nerfbat will always win.

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      April 16, 2012 12:49 PM

      Since Shacknews doesn't really want to put any details in their blog articles. There is a good article on Forbes about this.

      Basically they filed these patents in 1995, for an avatar based chat room. Basically server based filtering so you dont' get info for characters you're not interacting with. Amazing.. almost like real life? How does this shit get patented?

      So basically ANY online game where you have an avatar and you interact with other people online would be affected by this patent... uhm... great

      I hope Activision smashes these clowns into dust.

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      April 17, 2012 12:12 AM

      "While we are pleased to see that the gaming industry and its rapidly growing customer base have enthusiastically embraced our patented technologies, we deserve fair compensation for their use."

      Erm...no, you don't.

      You can't patent an idea, it's rediculous. Blizzard deserve the props for WoW, has nothing to do with this daft, spongey company no one's ever heard of. Saying that they DESERVE some cash is ludicrous, they haven't created anything.