NCSoft sued, Worlds.com owns all MMOs

ScooterScooter Registered User regular
edited February 2009 in MMO Extravaganza
http://www.virtualworldsnews.com/2008/12/worldscom-files-suit-against-ncsoft.html

I was going to post this in the CoX thread, but NCSoft does have a whole lotta MMOs, so. Apparently Worlds.com is arguing that all 3D MMOs which limit the number of characters you see based on where you're looking, and load amounts, are in violation of its patents. This includes just about every MMO, including Everquest which predates the patents.

So, just how crazy is Worlds.com?

Scooter on
«13

Posts

  • OatsOats Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Man, what?

    Since when is code patent material? Moreover, since when is code which basically allows any large scale online game that isn't a MUD patent material?

    Oats on
  • DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
    edited December 2008
    worlds.com to become MMO monopoly: Blizzard, EA, NCSoft admit defeat.

    Unknown User on
  • FandyienFandyien But Otto, what about us? Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    worlds.com to slowly take over and homogenize all forms of media

    Fandyien on
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  • ScooterScooter Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Oats wrote: »
    Man, what?

    Since when is code patent material? Moreover, since when is code which basically allows any large scale online game that isn't a MUD patent material?

    We actually discussed this kind of stuff in my legal ethics class this fall (taught by a CS prof-slash-lawyer). Apparently you can't patent mathmatical algorithims, which makes patenting software tricky as arguably all code is based on mathmatical algorithims. But the amount of work and different styles and what not would indicate that programs should be patentable.

    However, for a long while the patent office refused to hire computer scientists as it didn't consider them real scientists/engineers (my prof was one of the ones that couldn't get hired). They didn't think the whole computer business would really take off. So when it did in the 90s, and they started giving patents on stuff....the patents were being given out by examiners who didn't know shit about programming or software. And there's all sorts of overly broad patents out there for basic stuff.

    Scooter on
  • pantsypantsy Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    My favorite part of their patent is the following illustrated example:

    worldspatent.jpg

    pantsy on
  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Stuff like this is what makes people rather angry with US patents. Love the explanatory comic

    Kalkino on
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  • HenroidHenroid Seize the Memes Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    This is fucking stupid. It'll probably slip through the cracks.

    I like how the complaint was filed in a law office in the town I live in, though. Because this town is retarded enough as it is.

    Henroid on
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  • korodullinkorodullin What. SCRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    There's a bit more than meets the eye with regard to why Worlds.com is pursuing this lawsuit, why they're targeting NCSoft specifically, and why they're pushing for this to be in an East Texas court system.

    I'll let Lum the Mad explain.

    korodullin on
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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Fuck you US patent law.

    shryke on
  • urahonkyurahonky Dayton, OHRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    So... Because NCSoft is Korean based, they think they will win in a lawsuit because the Jury doesn't like Koreans?

    Those dirty fucks.

    urahonky on
  • HenroidHenroid Seize the Memes Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    korodullin wrote: »
    There's a bit more than meets the eye with regard to why Worlds.com is pursuing this lawsuit, why they're targeting NCSoft specifically, and why they're pushing for this to be in an East Texas court system.

    I'll let Lum the Mad explain.

    So basically, East Texans are too retarded to understand technology and will just go in favor of the plaintiff.

    I hate living in retard-central.

    Henroid on
    Nobody likes me but that's okay. I'm used to it.
    I stream at late night - /henroidt on Twitch
  • ScooterScooter Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    korodullin wrote: »
    There's a bit more than meets the eye with regard to why Worlds.com is pursuing this lawsuit, why they're targeting NCSoft specifically, and why they're pushing for this to be in an East Texas court system.

    I'll let Lum the Mad explain.

    Esh. I was thinking they were about to go out of business, looked at their assets, and decided making claims on some of their patents was their last chance to make some money.

    But now they're looking a lot more like predatory dicks.

    Between this and the Fox/Watchmen case, I'm starting to get the impression that the system is set up to reward companies that don't actually produce anything.

    Scooter on
  • dasnoobdasnoob ArkansasRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    If memory serves correctly the patent wasn't applied for until 2000. When did EverQuest go live? 1997? Would that not be prior art?

    dasnoob on
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Reminds me of the doubly linked list patent that was filed in like 2002 or something that was finally issued in 2006.

    http://www.google.com/patents?vid=USPAT7028023

    I uh, I have books that predate this by decades.

    Also, the worlds.com patent is largely a bunch of diagrams to "how you could do this in theory" rather than "This is how it's done."

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • AccualtAccualt Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    The patent system in America is true and welly fucked.

    Accualt on
  • FandyienFandyien But Otto, what about us? Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I genuinely hope they sue blizzard because that'd be dadgum hilarious

    Fandyien on
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  • ScooterScooter Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    dasnoob wrote: »
    If memory serves correctly the patent wasn't applied for until 2000. When did EverQuest go live? 1997? Would that not be prior art?

    Apparently it's a continuation or something of a 1996 patent, although there are still some older games according to the Lum comments.

    Scooter on
  • ViscountalphaViscountalpha Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Accualt wrote: »
    The patent system in America is true and welly fucked.

    There is not enough lime in the world for this.

    Viscountalpha on
  • MonstyMonsty Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    bowen wrote: »
    Reminds me of the doubly linked list patent that was filed in like 2002 or something that was finally issued in 2006.

    http://www.google.com/patents?vid=USPAT7028023
    What a fucking joke. Shit like this gets me fired up.

    Keep it together, Monsty. You can do this!

    Monsty on
  • urahonkyurahonky Dayton, OHRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Monsty wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    Reminds me of the doubly linked list patent that was filed in like 2002 or something that was finally issued in 2006.

    http://www.google.com/patents?vid=USPAT7028023
    What a fucking joke. Shit like this gets me fired up.

    Keep it together, Monsty. You can do this!

    Drink more pop!

    (But seriously, how the fuck can you patent a double linked list??)

    urahonky on
  • JJJJ DailyStormer Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    This shit makes me furious. Good hearty beatings need to be dispensed.

    The fact that the government itself is being twisted to do this makes it worse.

    JJ on
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    urahonky wrote: »
    Monsty wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    Reminds me of the doubly linked list patent that was filed in like 2002 or something that was finally issued in 2006.

    http://www.google.com/patents?vid=USPAT7028023
    What a fucking joke. Shit like this gets me fired up.

    Keep it together, Monsty. You can do this!

    Drink more pop!

    (But seriously, how the fuck can you patent a double linked list??)

    A foreign national outsourced by a company that makes RAID controllers could argue that it was a highly original design implantation based on their current firmware and architecture.

    Mister chong wang probably thought he was a genius olol wut.

    "You mean we can go forward and backward?! GENIUS!"

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Bear with me, but if the hicks in rural Texas make an uninformed decision wouldn't NCSoft just move to a higher judge and get a decent judgement there?

    Aldo on
  • Beyond NormalBeyond Normal Lord Phender Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    You're assuming the judge also knows something about this kind of thing. It's unlikely though, because all the US Supreme Court justices are all dinosaurs.

    Beyond Normal on
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  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    You're assuming the judge also knows something about this kind of thing. It's unlikely though, because all the US Supreme Court justices are all dinosaurs.
    Don't they have people who tell them what to do?

    Anyway, I'm going to laugh and laugh if they're also going to sue Blizzard. :P

    Aldo on
  • s3rial ones3rial one Registered User
    edited December 2008
    This isn't legal advice. THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE!

    My armchair view of this (I'm a law student, and I've taken patent and IP classes) is that this is a nuisance lawsuit, plain and simple.

    Patent litigation is hideously expensive. Hideously. This sort of thing is, sadly, common. I remember when I first took my patent law class, the professor showed us a figure - I believe it was from AIPLA - that showed something to the effect that if your patent's worth $20 million, you should expect to spend about $5 million defending it in court.

    Recent case law - In Re Bilski - has basically gutted software patents. The case hasn't been tested, yet, but a common interpretation of the ruling is that, in effect, you can't patent software anymore unless it's tied directly to some specific piece of hardware. E.g. the microcontroller that monitors your car's four-wheel drive might be patentable, but Microsoft Office isn't. You can read more about it at Groklaw, here and here.

    Without reading the complaint, this seems like nothing but a patent troll. The company has a bad patent, which never should've issued in the first place, and they're going to hope that because patent litigation is so damned expensive, that they can get NCsoft to settle, because it'll be cheaper for NCsoft to settle than fight back an invalidate their piece of garbage patent.

    Sadly, this works rather often. Patents are just too expensive to prosecute.

    EDIT: As to why this patent was granted in the first place, well... there are so many failings of the patent office and the patent system as a whole, and so few people who have the will or understanding (or money) to fix it, that it's likely that... well, the whole thing's a train wreck.

    EDIT 2: That Lum the Mad article seems to be referring to the same AIPLA figures I talked about. I can't seem to find them on their website right now, though.

    s3rial one on
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    This reminds me of that one article I saw a few weeks ago when someone tried to sue Apple for the concept of iconized programs and a home menu on a cell phone.


    OH CRAP THEY PATENTED COLORED RECTANGLES, FUCK.

    Jasconius on
  • ScooterScooter Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Also Amazon was sued over the idea of a digital shopping cart and buying things on a website iirc.

    Scooter on
  • DisDis Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Will be interesting to see how this goes.

    Dis on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Death Cab For AlbieDeath Cab For Albie Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    They know full well that they are going to lose this battle, this is an attempt to gain publicity for their crap game. I'll admit it worked though, I actually went to worlds.com to see what the hell they were.

    Death Cab For Albie on
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  • HarshLanguageHarshLanguage Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Came here to say more or less what s3rial said. They're trolling for settlements and, unfortunately, will probably end up with a tidy amount of cash from NCSoft because of their (disgusting but legal) tactics. And with that settlement in hand, they move on to other victims. There is an entire industry of companies that do nothing but this sort of patent blackmail. And I use the word "industry" with as much irony as I can muster, because these companies produce nothing but lawsuits.
    Scooter wrote: »
    Also Amazon was sued over the idea of a digital shopping cart and buying things on a website iirc.

    To be fair, Amazon has its own very controversial history of acting on its own patents.

    HarshLanguage on
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  • BlueDestinyBlueDestiny Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Speaking of stupid lawsuits...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfO9JUNXN7U

    BlueDestiny on
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  • EWomEWom Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    What would be hilarious is if Blizzard, SoE, and Mythic sent in a team of their lawyers each to help out NCSoft, because really if it effects one, it effects all. I'd love to see mr penguinfuckers [strike]game[/strike]... chatroom's lawyers shit their pants when the law team of some of the biggest players in the gaming market show up to shove their patents straight up their assholes.


    Of course, just like J.T. being banished to the moon, that would never happen.

    EWom on
    Whether they find a life there or not, I think Jupiter should be called an enemy planet.
  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    i imagine blizzard summons their lawyers with the haunting call of an orcish horn

    Pony on
  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Methinks Activision-Blizzard will be using their $texas from WoW to buy these patents by aquiring this Worlds.com company.. along with a new fleet of employees to clean out all the WoW GM and tech support people's toilets.

    Undead Scottsman on
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Methinks Activision-Blizzard will be using their $texas from WoW to buy these patents by aquiring this Worlds.com company.. along with a new fleet of employees to clean out all the WoW GM and tech support people's toilets.

    "Lick it clean you scrub"

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • korodullinkorodullin What. SCRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    EWom wrote: »
    What would be hilarious is if Blizzard, SoE, and Mythic sent in a team of their lawyers each to help out NCSoft, because really if it effects one, it effects all. I'd love to see mr penguinfuckers [strike]game[/strike]... chatroom's lawyers shit their pants when the law team of some of the biggest players in the gaming market show up to shove their patents straight up their assholes.


    Of course, just like J.T. being banished to the moon, that would never happen.

    SOE will not help out anyone with a suit against Worlds.com because SOE is one of their clients, probably from a similar settlement done years and years ago.

    korodullin on
    ZvOMJnu.png
    - The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (2017, colorized)
  • DiscoZombieDiscoZombie Registered User
    edited December 2008
    so why is one of these cases so expensive? I feel like there are sooo many lawyers in the world. you would think *one* of them would be willing to work for less than $5mil... or does the free market not apply to the legal system? honestly, I have no idea how this stuff works, but the idea of paying so much money to defend against something so frivolous doesn't make much sense to me. I would think that if it was an easy, frivolous case, it would be cheap to defend against.

    DiscoZombie on
  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    so why is one of these cases so expensive? I feel like there are sooo many lawyers in the world. you would think *one* of them would be willing to work for less than $5mil... or does the free market not apply to the legal system? honestly, I have no idea how this stuff works, but the idea of paying so much money to defend against something so frivolous doesn't make much sense to me. I would think that if it was an easy, frivolous case, it would be cheap to defend against.
    I was going to type up a long winded reason referencing the tremendous amount of money that could potentially change hands in one of these cases (you've made how much money infringing on my patents for the past 5 years?) when I realized I could answer your question in three words:
    Lawyers are bastards.

    see317 on
    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • StorkStork Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    korodullin wrote: »
    EWom wrote: »
    What would be hilarious is if Blizzard, SoE, and Mythic sent in a team of their lawyers each to help out NCSoft, because really if it effects one, it effects all. I'd love to see mr penguinfuckers [strike]game[/strike]... chatroom's lawyers shit their pants when the law team of some of the biggest players in the gaming market show up to shove their patents straight up their assholes.


    Of course, just like J.T. being banished to the moon, that would never happen.

    SOE will not help out anyone with a suit against Worlds.com because SOE is one of their clients, probably from a similar settlement done years and years ago.

    I wouldn't be suprised if Blizzard / Mythic / etc. get involved in some sort of friend-of-the-court brief, basically saying that the suit is obvious patent trolling that prior art exists everwhere.

    Stork on
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