3D Virtual Worlds Patented! Lawsuits Started...

from the oh-come-on... dept

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.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2008 @ 1:01pm

    Re: Mike...are you helping?

    Of course it must be noted that while the filing date is 11/2006, the relevant date for 102(b) purposes is prior to 11/2005, not to mention that it is the claims that define what has been invented and as to which the patent applies.

    I am always intrigued by the technological expertise exhibited by many of the persons who frequent this site. If only I have the ability as they apparently do of being omnipotent and being able to immediately discern what is a "good" patent and what is a "bad" patent.

    One should never let relevant facts get in the way of making up his/her mind. Otherwise they might actually have to think.

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