Ubisoft Scores Legal Win in Patent Case

Ubisoft Scores Legal Win in Patent Case

Ubisoft logo

Watch Dogs publisher wins summary judgment in "patent troll" case.

Ubisoft announced a big win on the legal battleground this week, as the company received a summary judgment in its favor against Digital Reg of Texas, LLC., a patent assertion entity. Digital Reg had filed a patent infringement suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against Ubisoft, Symantec Corporation, and Adobe Systems, claiming that the companies had violated patents relating to "regulating", "tracking", "delivering", and "securing" digital content. Ubisoft was specifically accused of violating the "tracking" and "delivering" portions of the patents through its Uplay platform. In response, the trio of Defendants asked the court for a summary judgment of non-infringement.

On Tuesday, United States District Court Judge Claudia Wilkins, citing "several reasons" listed in her decision, ruled that Ubisoft had not violated the patents in question and allowed the company to remove itself from the lawsuit. Among the reasons listed for Ubisoft's victory was a previous settlement agreement Digital Reg made with Valve over its Steam platform. Since Valve's license agreement covered "third party use", Ubisoft was automatically covered under that part of Digital Reg's claims.

In its statement about Tuesday's victory, Ubisoft said it is "determined to aggressively fight patent cases that target the company and its innovations and technologies. Ubisoft is committed to defending itself against patent assertion entities - referred to as patent 'trolls' -- that assert invalid or inapplicable patents against the company or the industry."

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WldCard:
claiming that the companies had violated patents relating to "regulating", "tracking", "delivering", and "securing" digital content.

That anything so vague is patentable is just stupid. Patents have no real purpose in the software sector aside from getting in the way of innovation anyway. By all means, sue someone who rips off your code line for line, but let's stop letting any dumb fuck imagine something and claim rights to every possible implementation that will ever exist.

There's a damn good reason you can't patent software in Canada.

edited for dumb

Vivi22:
There's a damn good reason you can't patent software in Canada.

I'm not familiar with software development companies in Canada. Is it a big business? I know multiple massive video game developers the are headquartered in Canada, both indie and massive, but they survive based on trade marks.

Patent laws need to change. The were originally made to protect inventors from the big bad corporations from stealing their ideas and work.

Now they simply exist simply for corporations to sue each other over arbitrary BS, and in fact make it harder almost impossible for real inventors to invent out of fear their invention might have round corners or use the internet in a certain way that's not allowed unless you want to pay royalties because someone you never heard of brainstormed it first.

disgruntledgamer:
Patent laws need to change. The were originally made to protect inventors from the big bad corporations from stealing their ideas and work.

Patent laws need to be abolished.

Even if there would be such a thing as an optimal degree of patent control, it is unattainable, because by the very creation of patents, you incentivize corporations to fight for expanding their monopolies instead of creating something new, and then you have oversized patent laws.

Any of the actual specific products that one can create, already have more than enough protection though trademark laws. But unlike those and copyrights, that can protect you from direct replication of your content, patents inherently penalize ideas being too similar to each other.

If I download your movie, or put your logo on the hats I sell, you might say that I have "taken" something of yours. But if I design my own 3D printer, or VR headset, or undrainable pen, then the only way to accuse me of taking your idea, is to claim ownership over a whole abstract concept of certain objects being built similarly.

Inventors should be free to create whatever new products they want, any restriction put on them to protect earlier inventors's related ideas, will just increase inequality and lead to patent hoarding.

Fuck Uplay with a rusty gunblade.

But go Ubisoft and crush these disgusting patent leeches.

Companies like these need to be destroyed. I hope they win all these cases and then sue this shitty company for damages. I hope they crush the little scumsucking piece of shit that runs this sham of a business into the ground.

Alterego-X:

disgruntledgamer:
Patent laws need to change. The were originally made to protect inventors from the big bad corporations from stealing their ideas and work.

Patent laws need to be abolished.

Even if there would be such a thing as an optimal degree of patent control, it is unattainable, because by the very creation of patents, you incentivize corporations to fight for expanding their monopolies instead of creating something new, and then you have oversized patent laws.

Any of the actual specific products that one can create, already have more than enough protection though trademark laws. But unlike those and copyrights, that can protect you from direct replication of your content, patents inherently penalize ideas being too similar to each other.

If I download your movie, or put your logo on the hats I sell, you might say that I have "taken" something of yours. But if I design my own 3D printer, or VR headset, or undrainable pen, then the only way to accuse me of taking your idea, is to claim ownership over a whole abstract concept of certain objects being built similarly.

Inventors should be free to create whatever new products they want, any restriction put on them to protect earlier inventors's related ideas, will just increase inequality and lead to patent hoarding.

Not to mention that all it results in is corporations sitting on their asses and doing nothing with said patents while the people who actually are doing something with those patents have to throw them money to be able to actually do it. It stifles creativity and inventing since unless it's completely original (which only becomes more and more impossible with each patent) one has to pay out through the nose just to be able to create and sell anything. This only makes it so the rich and powerful are the only ones who can create and sell anything while the average joe inventor can't afford to do the same. It's the same thing with copyrights too.

What should happen is somebody creates something new and everybody else that wants to can make their own versions and let the public decide which ones stay and which ones go out of business. This would also result in the corporations having a leg up over the average joe, but at least this way the average joe has a CHANCE, and all the competition would only benefit the consumer.

1337mokro:
Fuck Uplay with a rusty gunblade.

But go Ubisoft and crush these disgusting patent leeches.

Companies like these need to be destroyed. I hope they win all these cases and then sue this shitty company for damages. I hope they crush the little scumsucking piece of shit that runs this sham of a business into the ground.

I couldn't have put it better myself.
I truly despise companies that do nothing else but leech from others' work by creating vague-ass patents like these.

ryukage_sama:

Vivi22:
There's a damn good reason you can't patent software in Canada.

I'm not familiar with software development companies in Canada. Is it a big business? I know multiple massive video game developers the are headquartered in Canada, both indie and massive, but they survive based on trade marks.

The trade marks tend to be for the product, namely the name and the exact function (I program a system and call it FireXY357, the product itself is mine even if the system can be used by others).

As for the software industry here, it's pretty big. Especially in Montreal and Vancouver (Montreal being one of the biggest video game development centres these days, including having Ubisoft's largest office)

Vivi22:

That anything so vague is patentable is just stupid.

You do understand this is the summary given on the Escapist, not the actual patent, right?

WldCard:
On Tuesday, United States District Court Judge Claudia Wilkins, citing "several reasons" listed in her decision, ruled that Ubisoft had not violated the patents in question and allowed the company to remove itself from the lawsuit.

I read this and imagined the Judge saying 'I find in favour of Ubisoft because Reasons'

Seriously though, when you go up against Ubisoft and people cheer for them, thats when you really know you are scum...

ryukage_sama:

Vivi22:
There's a damn good reason you can't patent software in Canada.

I'm not familiar with software development companies in Canada. Is it a big business? I know multiple massive video game developers the are headquartered in Canada, both indie and massive, but they survive based on trade marks.

Trademarks and patents re very different things. Trademarks are things like names and symbols, like Pepsi or Halo, together with some symbols and such. Patents are for products or sometimes ideas.

As for software patents, the entire European Union avoids them, and, to some extent, as do most developed nations. Can't speak for less developed ones due to Wikipedia not having information on them.

The terms here are so vague that you could sue apple because itunes does that too. Origin is basically the same as steam, just not as good, but you don't see valve sueing EA...
Now, if someone had just copied uplay, that'd be a different matter. But then again, why would you WANT to copy uplay?

"The only ones who get to patent troll is us"

WEll, to be honest, ubisfot did plenty of bad things but i dont remmeber them ever patent trolling unlike many other big publishers, cough, zenimax, cough. As much as i dislike Ubisoft i think its a good thing they won this case.

Someone... actually made me root for Ubisoft? Ubisoft? I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

I guess, as the saying goes, the enemy of my enemy is my... ugh... not-quite-as-enemy-y.

It shows you how bad all this patent stuff for software is when it makes you support ubisoft of all people.

I will jam forks into by eyes if i ever say this again but "good on you ubisoft"

It just raises the issue that software should not be able to be patented, sure have copyright so nobody can just copy and sell the same package but you should not be able to patent something like that, patents should also not be transferable.

When i come to power patent troll companies are going to be illegal, patents will stay with the original creator and will be shortened significantly.

Owning the rights to a franchise or series needs to change too if you don't do anything with it in 5 years then the property goes public domain so someone else can work on a sequel or update /path the original.

alj:

Owning the rights to a franchise or series needs to change too if you don't do anything with it in 5 years then the property goes public domain so someone else can work on a sequel or update /path the original.

Agreed, but there should be a reasonable duration where even if one is doing something with the rights it should become public domain anyway, otherwise people are just going to bring some random piece of crap out every once in a while solely so they can hold on to the rights, which is hardly better than what we've got.

immortalfrieza:

Agreed, but there should be a reasonable duration where even if one is doing something with the rights it should become public domain anyway, otherwise people are just going to bring some random piece of crap out every once in a while solely so they can hold on to the rights, which is hardly better than what we've got.

Oh if they show they are working on something that's fine as long as they check back in a year or so and progress has been made, not just a tech demo with a name on to keep the property yours.

What this would be used to stop is huge cooperation buying up small companies for the property or franchise and then sitting on them for 20 years and then putting out a total cash in that poisons the franchise. EA i am looking at you.

Da Orky Man:
As for software patents, the entire European Union avoids them, and, to some extent, as do most developed nations. Can't speak for less developed ones due to Wikipedia not having information on them.

Zontar:
As for the software industry here, it's pretty big. Especially in Montreal and Vancouver (Montreal being one of the biggest video game development centres these days, including having Ubisoft's largest office)

I know the difference between a patent and a trademark.

But "video game developer" and "software developer" are not the same thing. What big software developers (NOT game developers) are based in Canada. Google, Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, and Oracle are all huge companies that make big money based on proprietary ownership of software. They would probably defend their own rigid patents and the financial security they offer. So Canada doesn't have this system of rigid patents. What is the result? Does such a system prevent companies from making money on software they develop? Does the lack of patent protection serve as a disincentive?

 

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