Thanks to a new patent, T5 Labs is challenging the likes of OnLive and Gaikai to a cloud gaming battle.
Though OnLive believed it was granted a landmark patent in the area of cloud gaming in late 2010, evidently seizing control of the technology, a company called T5 Labs has entered the cloud gaming ring and is already working on a combo. T5 Labs has been awarded a patent in a related area with an earlier filing date, and is considering its options.
OnLive's patent for an "apparatus and method for wireless video gaming" was filed in December 2002, but T5 Labs filed its patent for a "centralized interactive graphical application server" in March 2002, nine months earlier. Graham Clemie of T5 Labs told VentureBeat that the company may "commence a procedure in the U.S. Patent Office known as an 'interference' to establish that T5 Labs, rather than OnLive, is the first inventor and entitled to the patent rights."
Both patents appear to describe a similar technology that works in a different way. T5 claims that its version is better, and I'm sure OnLive would say the same. OnLive told Joystiq that it looked at T5 Labs' patent application and told Clemie that it "saw no relevance whatsoever to OnLive." OnLive also said it deals with "irrelevant patents" all the time, and is confident in its own patent portfolio.
Dave Perry, head of Gaikai, another cloud company that hopes to use the technology for more than games, doesn't believe anyone can patent "remote gaming" because it goes back as far back as the 1970s. That won't stop anyone from fighting over it though.