Patent Troll Ready to Sue World of Warcraft, Second Life

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Patent Troll Ready to Sue World of Warcraft, Second Life

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Worlds.com CEO Thom Kidrin is getting ready to sue the pants off every MMOG in existence, including World of Warcraft and Second Life, for infringing on what he claims is his company's patented intellectual property: Scalable virtual worlds with thousands of users.

Worlds.com claims to hold a patent for the idea of virtual worlds that dates back to 1995 and that could quite literally apply to every 3-D online world currently in existence. In fact, Worlds.com has already taken one MMOG heavyweight to court: Korea-based NCsoft, the company behind games like Lineage and Guild Wars. And while legal expert Ben Buranske, contacted by Business Insider, says the wealth of "prior art" will make the case tough to prove, World.com's court of choice, the Eastern District of Texas, is notorious for handing heavy damage awards to plaintiffs in cases like this. Nintendo was recently ordered to pay $21 million in damages after a jury in the district found the company had violated 12 patents relating to its controllers held by a small Texas company called Anascape.

"Being a foreign defendant in Texas is not a pleasant thing," a lawyer familiar with the NCsoft case said. "The juries are, many would say, biased towards American plaintiffs and have a propensity to offer high damages. Some defendants might view them as an unfriendly jury and it might make the defendant more likely to settle." That could be bad news for companies like Blizzard and Linden Lab, which Kidrin says he is "absolutely" going to sue if his suit against NCsoft is successful.

Worlds.com apparently came into possession of the patents by way of Starbright World, a social network for serious ill children that's part of the Starlight Starbright Foundation. The patents don't cover virtual worlds specifically but rather "an architecture for enabling thousands of simultaneous users in a 3D virtual space." Lawyers from the General Patent Corporation reportedly encouraged Worlds.com management to "aggressively pursue" licensing arrangements with MMOG companies.

Kidrin says he doesn't want to put anyone out of business, he's simply after proper licensing fees for what he feels is rightfully his intellectual property. Given the amounts of money involved in the MMOG business, it's a safe bet he won't settle for token amounts.

via: VG247

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And the patent goes to.... (drum roll) Sci-Fi authors! I dont know who was first, but the idea of "virtual world" dates back almost to the date of the invention of first computer and associated Sci-Fi novel.
Long story short - this guy can go suck a sock.

This is why I feel the whole concept of intellectual property rights needs to be overhauled.

if they had the rights since 1995 , then why are they now starting a lawsuit?

This can go ahead and be filed along with the "crazys". The patent is to protect your intellectual property, sure, but let's be frank. Unless WoW and Second life accually stole their server, or constructed it with the very program that was being pattened, they don't owe anyone anything. Their work, their profit.

Why would he wait this long to start suing? 3D MMOs have been around for a long time now.

Then there will have to be a court battle.... His lawyers vs Blizzards army of gentically made Half shark, half demon lawyers trained from birth to practice law and perform the occasional assassin ritual.

KILL KILL MURDER KILL
Now that's out of my system, he's at it AGAIN?! Can't wait for the one BS case to process, he has to go all chaffrocket on everyone at once?

Zac_Dai:
This is why I feel the whole concept of intellectual property rights needs to be overhauled.

Totally agreed. This is the like the dumbest concept ever. It's not like the first person to think of an original idea, will be the first to implement it.

drop2zero:
Why would he wait this long to start suing? 3D MMOs have been around for a long time now.

True, but it's only since the advent of Ultima online, Everquest, World of Warcraft etc. that they've become both massively successful and more importantly massive money makers. It's not surprising some greedy soul out there wants a piece of that pie. I hope they get nothing!

Thom Kidrin can eat a dick.

That is all.

? This dumb ass dose relies if they win and the law suits kills WoW that million of nerds would then turn there hate and the time they used to spin on the games towards to ruing there lives.

Blizzard and Linden Lab aren't foreign though, so I don't see what the paragraph about being a foreign defendant has to do with them. NCsoft, yes, but not them. Anyways, this entire case is ridiculous. If they violated something more specific, or ripped off one of your games, then sure you might have something there, but you can't own an entire genre. This is like if the Pitfall makers sued all games with jumping in them.

i would think this was stupidly funny... until i remember that the court really did beat nintendo out of some cash.

which means its going to suck to be a massive multiplayer online when this stuff begins.

By this logic the Gene Roddenberry estate should sue Worlds.Com for infringing on the patent because the "scalable virtual world" is very similar to a holodeck.

Please, when I first heard about these wingnuts suing NCSoft I did some research into their company and their products. From the perspective of someone that actually has some, well, perspective in the gaming industry Worlds.com doesn't have any ground to stand on.

Unless they can provide proof of "previous art" (and I doubt they can provide anything that can substantiate a claim that Blizzard/NCSoft/whomever is ripping them off) Worlds.com simply doesn't have any ground to stand on here. Hopefully whatever jury they end up in front of will realize this.

This is just such a wonderful way to help out multiple businesses during economic times of crisis.
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Sarcasm.

I think what you also have to keep in mind as has been stated that MMO's have been around for a good while now. If you'll recall Everquest was the king of MMO's in the 90's why was nothing done at that time this is just a terrible case of spoiled grapes

ok, good luck with that!!!

What a royal douche, I'm mean people like this leave me speechless. He's not entitled to jack. Honestly I wouldn't even give this guy the time of day, so you had a vague idea about online games. Big freakin deal, there's no words for the frustration people like him cause me.

I hope blizzard rallies its addicts and protests his ass. Hehe, LFG 6 million for Protest.

EDIT: I took a look at the original article again and noticed this little bit
"Thom told us he intends to sue anyone who refuses to enter into licensing negotiations "

The guy's a bully, An f'ing bully. Holy crap how anyone can take this guy seriously is insane. I mean...it's just......GAHHHH!!! SKAAAAGGG!!! to fill you in "skag" is the word I use when there's no suitable swears to describe anger, it is the swear to end all swears.

That's my intellectual property by the way, use it 20 years down the line in a movie and I'll sue you in Texas. /sarcasm

yeah these Frivolous Patent-Trolling Lawsuits are doing wonders for the economy I'm sure.

Also shouldn't Neal Stephenson be getting residuals because of the Virtual World he came up with in Snow Crash? ;)

On the off chance dose win not hard to appeal this case (and frankly Nintendo should of)so held in a less bias courtroom. I hope this goes all the way then they counter sue him for been a greedy ba**** as all these court cases of late just pathetic and a few people need a smack around the head and told to shut the hell up.

Fuck this guy. And I don't mean get him laid, either.

Seriously, what anal-retentive assshole would lean over a company's shoulder and say, "Hey, whatcha makin'? Oh, you say it's a medieval fantasy realm with multiple players at once? Oh, ouch. You see, a while ago, I made a game where lost of people could play online at once, too. Mind you, it was about something completely different, but still, you stole my idea of of online multiplayer, so you owe me a ton of money. I'd prefer it in cash, please," with a straight face? Christ, you don't see H.P. Love craft popping out of his grave, walking up to Stephen King, and saying to him, "Hey, asshole, you stole the concept of horror from me! Where the fuck's my money, punk!?"

Now do you?

Fuck, if those guys in Texas let Worlds.com get away with this, I suggest we KICK TEXAS OUT OF THE UNITED STATES. Seriously, this case is grade-a, depleted uranium BULLSHIT.

Watch yer figgins.

LOL good luck suing blizzard is all i gotta say, they will fornicate your skull while using your sphincter as a condom..

Mercanary57:
This is just such a wonderful way to help out multiple businesses during economic times of crisis.
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Sarcasm.

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What are you talking about? This is the perfect time to wipe this scourge of blasphemy. His idea [that everyone has gotten once and a while during an RPG] got stolen, and he should get millions of dollars for this major inconvenience. It will help not only the economy but also be the American way.

What a total dumbass...

I mean, if you design something, and someone else designs something similar, you can't just say "my idea first." If that was the way things worked the first guy who ever made a wheel would be running around beating anyone else who thought of ROLLING THINGS and over the head with his primitive club!
When one person makes a program, and someone else makes another program that is LIKE it, it's still their own program unless they blatantly ripped off the code and dumped some shiny FECES in it.

Thank goodness there's a place we can yell at each other about how stupid people like that are.

The worlds problem is not that it is full of fools. It is that lightning is not distributed properly.

This is why I don't believe in Evolution, you can't have Natural selection and have... THAT!

This'll sure be interesting to watch. Quite intruiging, even though I believe Blizzard should win.

Onmi:
The worlds problem is not that it is full of fools. It is that lightning is not distributed properly.

Quite true... And I know how to redistribute it properly! The game painkiller. It has a gun. This guns name is Electrodriver. It shoots shurikens and lightning.

angryscotsman93:

Fuck, if those guys in Texas let Worlds.com get away with this, I suggest we KICK TEXAS OUT OF THE UNITED STATES. Seriously, this case is grade-a, depleted uranium BULLSHIT.

Watch yer figgins.

Just fuckin' try it. We have more guns than you.
<edit> We also produce and process a huge portion of your oil. Enjoy your inflated gas prices, suckers! </edit>
Also, our small short-crust pasties containing raisins are just fine, thank you.

Now, in all seriousness:
The Nintendo case seemed pretty clear-cut to me - it was the squishy shoulder buttons and analog sticks that Anascape were upset about, and they had quite clearly filed a specific patent on that idea.
While I agree that $26 million was a bit steep, I think this was (probably unintentional) patent infringement.

This case, though, is pretty broad. I don't think the idea of MMOGs is patentable, necessarily, though architectural specifics (which is kinda what this sounds like it's really about) might be.
In any case, I'm sure some form of justice will be had.

confernal:
Then there will have to be a court battle.... His lawyers vs Blizzards army of gentically made Half shark, half demon lawyers trained from birth to practice law and perform the occasional assassin ritual.

I would pay to see that.

SuperMse:
Blizzard and Linden Lab aren't foreign though, so I don't see what the paragraph about being a foreign defendant has to do with them. NCsoft, yes, but not them. Anyways, this entire case is ridiculous. If they violated something more specific, or ripped off one of your games, then sure you might have something there, but you can't own an entire genre. This is like if the Pitfall makers sued all games with jumping in them.

According to the omniscient Wiki, and as I suspected; Blizzard is a French owned company which has it's headquarters based in the US. Also if his patent is in effect from '95 then it is void as you can't patent something someone already came up with, and mmos have been around long before that. He's a fraud and needs to be gank raided by bears....do they have those in Texas?

Thom Kidrin should go play in traffic.

Skizle:
if they had the rights since 1995 , then why are they now starting a lawsuit?

Usually the way this works is that some company develops something a long time ago, then eventually goes out of business and someone else buys the rights to their stuff and turns it into a "patent portfolio".

-- Alex

wow what a fucking retard thats all i can even say to this level of terminal idoicy

Oh please. What a whiny little idiot.

drop2zero:
Why would he wait this long to start suing? 3D MMOs have been around for a long time now.

Because now there's preposterous amounts of money in the MMOG business, which he thinks he's entitled to. His project didn't make him ridiculously rich, so he's trying to make money off of others' success.

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