Patent News 1

Patent Litigation Enters Virtual Worlds

Patent News 1 - Gaming Patents

From a December 31, 2008 press release from the website of General Patent Corporation:

"SUFFERN, N.Y., December 31, 2008 — General Patent Corporation (GPC), a leading patent licensing and enforcement firm, announced today that it filed a patent infringement lawsuit against NCSoft Corp. of Austin, TX on behalf of its client,, Inc. (Worlds)."

    "The lawsuit (Case 6:08-cv-00508) was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division."

    ", Inc. (OTC BB: WDDD), of Brookline, MA, owns US Patent No.7,181,690 titled “System and Method for Enabling Users to Interact in a Virtual Space” (the ‘690 Patent). The Patent relates to computer architecture for a three-dimensional graphical multi-user interactive virtual world system. Such systems are utilized in Massive Multi-Player Online Games (MMORPG) of the type known as Graphical Multi-Dimension (GMUD) games, which provide a graphical representation of the player’s character (avatar) wherein movement of the character in virtual space alters what the character views."

    " has been a pioneer in the field of Virtual Worlds since the early nineties,” stated Thom Kidrin, Worlds' CEO. “We are pleased to see that the technology we developed is now widely used by MMO game developers. At the same time, we deserve a fair compensation for the use of our patented technology.”

If you are a gamer, you probably know that Virtual Worlds refers to these big multi-player online games. These have recently become a big business and thus has finally attracted patent interest. The CEO of GPC announced also that "Worlds patents represent exceptionally valuable intellectual property,” and “[w]e welcome licensing inquiries from the on-line game industry. Non-exclusive licenses are available on favorable and non-discriminatory terms.”

I am sure many companies involved in the type of gaming are now in contact with their attorneys asking what this means to them. Stay tuned.


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Mike Ervin
Mike Ervin - Cost Effective Small Business Patent Protection.

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