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View Poll Results: How many piles of bovine scat do you detect in this lawsuit?
...a multitude of massive mounds 12 92.31%
...a normal cow sized pile 0 0%
...mouse pellets 1 7.69%
...it's all good. People should sue early and often. 0 0%
Voters: 13. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 01-06-2009, 08:30 PM
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I guess Worlds.com plans to sue every game maker under the sun.
Part of the original story as posted on Virtual World News:

Quote:
Worlds.com Files Suit Against NCsoft for Patent Infringement
On Christmas Eve, Worlds.com filed a complaint against NCsoft for infringing on its virtual world and MMO patent...

...The suit claims that NCsoft has infringed on patent 7,181,690, "System and Method for Enabling Users to Interact in a Virtual Space" through its games, including City of Heroes, City of Villains, Dungeon Runners, Exteel, Guild Wars, Lineage, Lineage II, and Tablula Rasa.
The complaint seeks to recover damages
The complaint: here
The patent: here

My opinion: Our patent laws need serious reforming. It looks to me that any developer of 3D worlds with more than two avatars who communicate in game could be targeted for law suit. I believe Worlds chose to act against the Korean NCSoft first because a foreign firm will have trouble defending the case in a Texas court. If Worlds wins in Texas they can sue everyone else more easily.

The technology and user interfaces for today's 3D games were developed over the last thirteen years by the collective intelligence of many people in and outside of many game companies over the Internet. Laws that support one company going back in time and claiming the whole idea was theirs are just BS.
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Old 01-06-2009, 08:56 PM
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What took them so long to file a lawsuit?
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Old 01-06-2009, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommarrow View Post
What took them so long to file a lawsuit?
Their patent just cleared in mid-December. They filed the patent about 10 years ago and it took that amount of time to clear.

Raph Koster has some good insight:
http://www.raphkoster.com/2008/12/30...t-hits-ncsoft/

Quote:
The patents in question deal with the notion of network culling on the server in 3d worlds, trimming down the set of things sent to the client based on server-side visibility algorithms.

Worlds.com really is a pioneer in the space — Worlds Chat being one of the early VW systems in the first half of the 90s. The earliest forms of the patents were filed in 1996, so pretty much all of the big 3d MMOs are later.

That said, there’s still plenty of earlier work done on network culling and yes, even 3d, and of course there’s a lot of money at stake, so expect a fight.
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Old 01-06-2009, 10:28 PM
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<Sarcasm> I'm waiting for my patent on "stories" to go through, so that I can sue EVERY publisher of EVERYTHING </Sarcasm>
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:32 AM
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Imo patents are heavily flawed, while I understand the need for companies to be able to protect their products to some extent, I think sueing people because they have something very similar is total corporate crap.
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Old 01-07-2009, 02:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommarrow View Post
What took them so long to file a lawsuit?
Besides QforQ's explanation, if you just try to make money out of patents and lawsuits, waiting makes sense.

Say I patent a cylindrical device, open at the top, closed at the bottom, used to carry small amounts of liquids and to drink said liquids from, by bringing the device to one's mouth.
I could warn everybody who then creates cups not to do that, but unless I actually plan on making cups myself, that won't do anything for me.

I could also say nothing and let everybody create and sell cups.
Once cups have become popular and everybody uses them, I come out with my patent and tell everybody who made cups to pay me lots of money, or else.

This kind of thing actually happens, especially with patents that cover basic stuff like the wheel, or hyperlinks.
I'm happy when this kind of thing fails, but sad that people/companies actually use this strategy.
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  #7  
Old 01-07-2009, 09:59 AM
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Dang people sue over really stupid thing's now day's. Game's get their idea's from other game's all the time.
Sounds like a desperate attempt to get money.
I wonder if their company isn't doing so well due to economy situation.?.
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Old 01-07-2009, 01:04 PM
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If they have the paperwork (suitably dated, signed and sealed) saying that they have the rights to the invention, then they have a case. If they have data and working programs from way back when, backing up their claims, then they have a strong case.

However, if their invention has been built up on and rebuilt several dozen times over, and only vaugely resembles the origional design... they may be stuffed. From my understanding of the laws involved with patents, you can patent the design, NOT the concept of the invention.

Its like the hundreds of idiots who patented the "Warp drive"... just because someone may invent it, doesn't mean that the paperwork you handed in will resemble the actual invention in any way, shape or form. After all, a picture of the engineering room in Start Trek attached to a patent form is no real claim to actually inventing the bloody thing (especially if the final product looks like an iPod).

Plus their are dozens if not hundreds of technical questions to over here, things that should be argued over by engineers and technicians rather than lawyers. Indeed, if NCSoft have any sense, they'll bring along a couple of dozen of both to argue the "Finer points" of this patent both legally and technically.

And if they ultimately loose, well then, guess we'll all be using VOIP comms in our next gen 3d games... in which case, anyone know who owns the rights to VOIP? There could be a tenner in it for you.
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:53 PM
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I'll agree with PrivateSniper that patents are currently a horridly broken system, prone to being gamed/exploited, insufficient in a world economy/market, and hampering of innovation.

There's good reason that I release everything that I own copyright to as Creative Commons 3.0 BY-NC-SA, and I'll never file a patent, ever. I've had several patentable ideas/concepts/mockups, but I feel that they are against innovation to hold them too close.

Maybe with opinions like this larry lessig and richard stallman might have coffee with me at MIT/Harvard . I support Harvard's Free Culture Foundation, and the Free Software Foundation in Boston, and go to Berkman Center events frequently.

After attending all of those, I just have to shake my head and facepalm when I hear about lawsuits like this:

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  #10  
Old 01-08-2009, 05:25 PM
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I will soon have my patent on breathing cleared then the world will owe me big time. MMWAHAHAHAHAHAHA
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