by Mike Masnick
Thu, Sep 17th 2009 1:56pm
Last time we wrote about Paltalk, it was an article talking about how the company had put together a decent business charging for the use of its chatting software. Apparently that business model wasn't decent enough, because the company has gone into all out patent lawsuit war. A bunch of folks have sent in various versions of the story, but basically, Paltalk has sued a bunch of the big name multiplayer online gaming companies, Activision-Blizzard, Sony, NCSoft, Turbine and Jagex. The back story is that the company bought some patents a few years back (anyone know which patents? -- a quick search doesn't turn up much) from another company. It claims that the patents cover "technologies for sharing data among many connected computers so that all users see the same digital environment." Initially, it sued Microsoft, and spent years fighting that case, until Microsoft figured it was cheaper to settle earlier this year, and handed over an undisclosed amount of cash. With that new bankroll, Paltalk has launched this new suit. While it likes to claim that the Microsoft settlement validates the patent, all it really does is show that Microsoft realized it was cheaper to settle than to fight. It would be rather useful to know which patents these are, specifically, because virtual worlds that let multiple people see the same thing have a pretty long history.
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