Creators of WoW, EverQuest, others sued over patent infringement

By on September 18, 2009, 6:49 PM
One essential ingredient of MMO gameplay is the synchronization of various events and special effects across multiple systems. A boss fight would get hairy pretty quick if everyone in the battle wasn't experiencing the same environment simultaneously. A New York-based company has sued several MMO-makers, claiming the games make use of a patented data sharing technology.

Paltalk Holdings, Inc. has filed suit in Marshall, Texas against Activision Blizzard (World of Warcraft), Sony (EverQuest), NCSoft (Guild Wars), Jagex (RuneScape), and Turbine (Lord of the Rings Online). Paltalk specifically chose the east Texas court for its history of favoring plaintiffs in related cases. The patents in question basically cover sharing data between connected computers so that users are presented with an identical digital environment.

Paltalk took Microsoft to court in 2006 over the multiplayer technology used in its Halo titles, and successfully strong-armed Redmond into settling out of court. I imagine that will only strengthen their present case, as it adds some level of validity to their claims.

User Comments: 9

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tengeta tengeta said:

Fork em all. Not like anyone cared when it was Microsoft at the stand, so there is no right or reason in complaining about this when it was perfectly fine then.

gamerguy53 said:

east district of Texas. *sigh*

Badfinger said:

More crappy lawsuits, we just love lawyers.

Guest said:

What the heck? How do you even patent something like this? I mean, it's a freakin logical idea that anybody with a pulse could have imagined.

The only things that should be patented are unique ideas that came about through creative deduction, or even by accident.

bullzi bullzi said:

So how long has WoW been out now? Personally I don't play the game, but jesus, if you wanted to get something done they probably should've done this a long time ago.

Just now bringing this suit to court years after these releases, it makes it quite evident they're just after the money.

Guest said:

Yep, i agree that this is a crappy lawsuit. what makes it worse is "Why now?". I mean...WoW has been around for years...Why sue them now? Why not sue when WoW just arrived? ******.

Guest said:

Has everyone became sue happy?

Guest said:

lol to funny they want to sue people with more money then you can shake a stick at and more legal power then donald trump lol ******* people just trying to get a buck some where. BOOOOOOOOOOO

Guest said:

The reason for suing them now vs suing them way back when the games came out is this: in pattent infringement cases, the plaintiff can sue for all the revenue gained by the company as a result of using the invention.

This means that all the profits made by these companies will go to PalTalk, assuming that they win the case. Basically what they did, is they let the gaming companies work for them for those years and now they are going to sue them for all the profits, which are in the millions of dollars.

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