Turbine, SOE, Blizzard, Others Sued for Patent Infringement

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ready4war

WTF IS THIS ARGUEMENT MAN CAN COMPANIES GET ALONG AND STOP THIS BS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Biceps

The first of the two patents was from 1997... Everquest 1 came out first.... not to mention Ultima Online, etc.

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=5,822,523.PN.&OS=PN/5,822,523&RS=PN/5,822,523

The second patent was from 2001... and Everyquest was several years before that as well.

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6,226,686.PN.&OS=PN/6,226,686&RS=PN/6,226,686

Anyway, this whole ridiculous saga just goes to show you that someday idiots will rule the world.  I wouldl like to know why Paltalk never managed to put out an MMORPG... know why?  That's right, because they don't know anything about games, how to make them, or how to program them.

I personally think it is time to start a petition against this silly lawsuit... how about a Million Gamer March? Send it to congress, to the prez, to the gov't.  While it wouldn't change the outcome of this case, it could raise the (sub-human) consciousness of our political leaders and perhaps reduce the number of these types of suits in the future.

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Urvile

rather than just posting a tidbit from the abstract. The actual patents are pretty lengthy (assuming they are the exact same two patents as from the Microsoft case), and I'm way to exhausted from driving all night to go through it all, but maybe somebody could look at them and see if they meet the requirements for patentability ( http://www.bitlaw.com/patent/requirements.html ). The two patents in question (or at least all the text, unless you register) at http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/5822523/fulltext.html and http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/6226686/fulltext.html 

 Very often in patent cases, the fight comes down to non-obviousness. I can't imagine trying to educate either a judge or a jury on enough computer shit to try to prove that a patent of this nature would have been obvious "to one of ordinary skill in the art" at the time the patents were taken out.  Hell,double-clicking is often a concept people have a hard time with. I'm thinking MS didn't like the look of the jury, or got some awful rulings from the judge that essentially hamstrung them, and they didn't want to risk it.

But prior posters are correct in that the prior settlement probably gave Paltalk a big warchest, but counts for ZERO in upcoming cases.

"If I woke up looking like that, I would just run toward the nearest living thing a kill it." - Master Shake

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charcaroth

The patent was purchased by the troll in 2002, but when was it issued?  That's the real test for whether it was issued as a valid patent or not.  You can blame the US Patent and Trademark Office's patent examiners, but they can hardly be expected to be educated in technical developments as they happen since there's no mechanism for training them in their fields after they get their job.  For the most part, any geek reading this site is in a better position to decide whether to issue a software patent than the vast majority of examiners. 

Just because a description sounds like something with which you're familiar doesn't mean it applies to every possible situation.  A patent issued on "a device that lets a person talk to another person" in 1876 didn't make Elisha Grey a dime, but it made Alexander Graham Bell a fortune because his patent got issued first.  A generic description in a patent makes the patent weaker over time, not stronger, despite the recent poor decisions in the federal district court in eastern Texas.  

 I can believe that a reporter quoted the plaintiff's attorney and thought he'd get an accurate description of the law from him based on the sorry state of modern reporting and fact checking, but that doesn't make the Globe reporter or the attorney any less wrong.  If Microsquish settled out of court in the earlier case, there is NO PRECEDENT.  There was no ruling by the court.  Microsquish probably decided to take a tactical retreat based on available resources.  Certainly, there is no persuasive authority to be had in this case that would make it any easier for the plaintiff/troll to win.  

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mesiah

You are exactly right, and that was my first thought when I read the article. Microsoft settling out of court has no barring on this case. An out of court settlement brings with it no legal barring, the two parties are agreeing to drop charges in exchange for cold hard cash. When a court is making a decision on whether or not a law has actually been broken, they site legal precedent set in past cases. An out of court settlement does not set a precedent either way. No ruling was made, so there is nothing to go by. But because of the forum shopping, this case will probably be won by the plaintiff, as I said before, we should not be allowed to pick and choose what courts we allow to handle our case in order to tilt the odds in our favor. The people we put in place to uphold our laws are supposed to do so fairly and without bias. Although no human is without bias, Its obvious that some people in our legal system can't seem to keep theirs in check.

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SuperiorBeing

Make it so that patents have to be backed up by an actual product; that way, people can't just say "Oh, well, if anyone makes a flying car, they need to pay me a hundred bucks" It will be very simple to determine when people are infringing on patents, because you can just look at whichever product was there first.

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bloodgain

That would defeat the purpose of patents.  Let's say I come up with this great design for a new vehicle feature (not just an idea -- a design), but prototyping it and perfecting it will cost around $500K.  Then I take it to Chrysler to sell it to them.  Under your system, they can just run with it and build it before I can and the patent (that I funded) belongs to them.  Heck, under your system, the first person or company to get one built and marketed would own the patent.  Since patents must be made public in order to be fair and useful, simply patenting something would be giving it away.

The problem is not the system, it's the patent office.  They keep forgetting that patents are there to protect the public domain and bring out innovation -- that's why patents expire.  Furthermore, they keep granting patents for ideas, which are not patentable.  Being the first to patent the idea to connect 10 computers together -- not valid.  Being the first to invent a network card capable of sharing information and the design and equipment for a ring topology -- valid patent, but only if YOU did it and weren't just the first person to figure out it wasn't patented (making it public domain).

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mesiah

I Have an idea! I will patent ideas! Then, any time anyone has an idea, CHACHING! Even if I'm only owed a penny for every idea, that's billions of dollars a day, and just think of all the law suits! I'm pretty much going to rule the world, and don't even think about stopping me.... or you'll owe me a penny.

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habuza

America has been destroyed. As for playing along w/ big brother? Fok the government. They made this mess. I didn't.

 And the patent trolling.. get used to it. It's how the world works now. Bunch of namby pamby self centered greedy little shits.

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gendoikari1

Obvious patent troll is obvious.

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Trooper_One

Another reason why innovation is stiffled.

 The USA needs to seriously relook at its patent laws and its judicial system overall.

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fourfinger

How the he** can you even have a patent for inter connectd computers, next i will have to pay to have a home network

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SeriousBusiness

That is just stupid. You guys are right about this being the most vauge patent ever. I also hope the MMO giants team up and counter sue. It would be very interesting to watch something like that unfold. You can mess with gamers man, remember what happened to cooper lawrence when she dogged on Mass Effect without even playing it? Yeah, she'll remember not to do that anymore. Best of luck to these companies.

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praetor_alpha

And this is why software patents are a bad idea.

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LatiosXT

No, this is people who file patents and don't do crap about them until someone actually makes a product that makes money off of it. Then they get all whiney, want a piece of the pie, and sue.

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gamefanatic26

i hope this dose not happen, their probaly just feeling cocky since the won against microsoft thinking they can take on other large companys. in some other guys comment he said he hopes "they counter sue and burie them" i hope so to since i waited five years to play wow and just started.

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mls067

And people want the government to run our health care. Ok, lets not turn this into a debate over that, I was being facetious! ;-p

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nicchap

Everything is difficult these days. Can't even go to the can without permission or an agreement of some sort. Grow up people and play along.

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bikerbub

alright. really. How the hell did that get through the patent offices. That is so vauge, it encompasses everything from cloud computing to Halo.

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mesiah

The company that patented the technology didn't wait around till now. They had no intention of suing anyone over their patent. A separate holdings firm saw the patent and decided it was easy money, so they purchased the patent with the sole intention of suing others to make money from it. Its pretty despicable if you ask me, and there should be laws in place to prevent this. I say, if a patent changes hands, the new owner can not sue any company who already had products in place before the purchase was made, whether or not the companies product had infringed on the original patent. Any current infringement issues should be taken care of before the sale of a patent. That would stop BS like this dead in its tracks. Although it still would do nothing to stop all of the companies who attempt to patent anything and everything in an attempt to make money through patent suits.

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Yusonice

That company is damn bullshit!! It owns a patent and dont develop it and aims to make money by sueing other companies which makes an effort to develop a game which everyone enjoys. Whats next? Patent to breathe and sue everyone?

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Biceps

So if ya'll don't want a law-suit on your hands, you better pony up.

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CNussbaum

This doesn't just sound like every MMO I have ever played it sounds like every multiplayer game I have ever played going all the way back to Doom.  For that matter it sounds it sounds like every desktop sharing/colaboration software I have ever used.  Even RDP/Windows Terminal Server lets an admin watch a user thus multiple people see the same "environment".

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mesiah

This is getting entirely out of hand. Companies are using our patent and legal system to get rich without having to do any real work at the expense of companies who are actually out there providing quality products that people want. This isn't even a company suing to protect their invention. This is a holdings firm, that went shopping for patents that they could use to get rich from by.... suing other companies. Its a patent for a freaking voice communications technology. And to top it off, we let these companies go venue shopping. If this was a murder case the legal system wouldn't let you decide what state you wanted to hold it in, let alone what specific district. I don't see why patent disputes would be any different. The dispute should be handled by a court in one of the districts that the plaintiff or defendant is based, simple as that. This is the kind of corruption that is destroying America, and its about time these politicians that we vote for get off their fat asses, take their hands out of lobbyists pockets, and do something to make this country better, instead of polishing the brass on the titanic like they are now.

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samduhman

Agree, Corporations and polititians both are destroying this country and yet we sit on our asses and do nothing.

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nekollx

 geeee this gives me hope that my pattent for "the exchange of thoughts, opions, editorial, or information via a text based electric hub" could be recouped on!

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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mesiah

Tell you what, why dont we merge and share our profits. You can have a portion of my earnings from my patent on oxygen, I plan to sue the pants off of mother nature, that heartless bitch.

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nekollx

 hummmm my company does like it's oxygen, alright deal.

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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Kazmosis

This just isn't right...

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wolf17

And let me guess where this trial is going to be held... texas? lol.

 That patents is so vague it's not even funny, and yet it seriously is a valid pattent?  wow is all i can say to that.

"Life is about living, not stressing" - a very smart girl :)

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Biceps

Patents are bigger in Texas.

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