by Mike Masnick
Tue, Dec 30th 2008 10:49am
It seems that the ridiculous patent holders are trying to go out with a bang in 2008. Worlds.com, which holds a patent that never should have been issued on virtual worlds has sued NCSoft, makers of a bunch of popular online virtual worlds -- including some that were launched before the patent was even filed for in 2000. The Register link above shows a few examples of such virtual worlds, but you can dig back even further. In 1996 I was using OnLive! Traveler which did all of the things described in the patent described, as can be seen in the video below:
Not surprisingly, the lawsuit is actually being brought by General Patent Corp (GPC), one of a growing number of IP licensing firms who prey on companies (that actually innovate) by trying to enforce incredibly broad and highly questionable patents. Not surprisingly, GPC's execs have been active in protesting any sort of patent reform, claiming it would "mar innovation." I would suggest that patent reform is a hell of a lot less likely to mar innovation than suing innovative companies with overly broad patents that were applied for well after the technology in question was in common use.
If you liked this post, you may also be interested in...
- Just As We Warned: A Chinese Tech Giant Goes On The Patent Attack -- In East Texas
- AstraZeneca Tries To Use 'Orphan Drug' Designation To Extend Patent Life Of Top-Selling Pill
- France Might Allow NGOs To Sell Public Domain Seeds To Non-Commercial Buyers. Might?
- Diagnostic Patents Suffer Another Setback In US As Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Sequenom Appeal
- Stupid Patent Of The Month: Storage Cabinets On A Computer