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 Post subject: This could be trouble
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:35 am 
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A company that says it holds a patent on 3-D online virtual worlds has sued NCSoft and is threatening Linden Lab and Blizzard unless they pay a cut of the profits.

Hopefully this will wind up stomped...

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:40 am 
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This will probably fail, it should be simple to find prior art. The sad thing is it will probably hurt a foundation for sick kids. :(

LambdaMOO qualifies as prior art. It did not have a 3D-rendered interface, but it was a 3D virtual world.

EDIT: After thinking, with the source available and the patent information available it should be possible to make sure Uru doesn't violate their implementation. I still strongly feel the patent is invalid, though, and I that Blizzard/Activision/Vivendi will probably send them packing with sore rears...

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:38 pm 
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Reason #473 our world is heading toward its doom: Patent trolls.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:43 am 
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Patent trolls will eat the world. :cry:

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 3:33 am 
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In most "real world" cases, in order for a patent infringement suit to have a legitimate chance of success, action against the infringer must be taken soon after it is discovered by the patent holder. This has been how many years now??? It makes their case much weaker, even if their original patents turn out to be valid, about which I have some serious doubt. But, anything can happen if it goes in front of a jury.

The US patent system is seriously broken. When a guy can get a patent for using a laser pointer as a cat toy, years after that became an obvious and common use for them... :roll:

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:55 am 
SCGreyWolf wrote:
Patent trolls will eat the world. :cry:


But they're so much shinier than ordinary trolls...


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 2:23 pm 
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zander_nyrond wrote:
SCGreyWolf wrote:
Patent trolls will eat the world. :cry:


But they're so much shinier than ordinary trolls...


Nah... just louder. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:02 pm 
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Robin wrote:
In most "real world" cases, in order for a patent infringement suit to have a legitimate chance of success, action against the infringer must be taken soon after it is discovered by the patent holder. This has been how many years now??? It makes their case much weaker, even if their original patents turn out to be valid, about which I have some serious doubt. But, anything can happen if it goes in front of a jury.

The US patent system is seriously broken. When a guy can get a patent for using a laser pointer as a cat toy, years after that became an obvious and common use for them... :roll:


The US patent system got a lot more fixed when the Supreme Court decided KSR International v. Teleflex, which (in layman's terms) says that one can use a more "common sense" approach to determining whether an invention is obvious over the prior art.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:50 am 
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Well if the quote, "an architecture for enabling thousands of simultaneous users in a 3D virtual space", is even close to the wording on the patent then URU has little to worry about. We can only get, "an architecture for enabling less than a hundred simultaneous users in a 3D virtual space" Anything more and the lag is so bad you can't move. :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:49 am 
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I'm taking my post out....Edited One Time For Stupidity... :roll:


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:04 pm 
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The main reason for this is a company looking for handouts. Just because the patent would be thrown out in court doesn't mean it just is before it's considered.. if trhe other company isn't up to paying legal fees to show how it's stupid, they can't do much. And even if they can, it's still not cheap.

It's patent warfare pure and simple.. used for extortion like this case, or stifling creativity and competition in other cases. One of these days they'll overhaul the US patent system an companies will have to look for other ways to kill competition and extort money before the government stops them. :roll:

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:07 pm 
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For those who are interested the three patents held by world.com that seem relevant are:
#7,181,690,
Quote:
The present invention provides a highly scalable architecture for a three-dimensional graphical, multi-user, interactive virtual world system. In a preferred embodiment a plurality of users interact in the three-dimensional, computer-generated graphical space where each user executes a client process to view a virtual world from the perspective of that user. The virtual world shows avatars representing the other users who are neighbors of the user viewing the virtual word. In order that the view can be updated to reflect the motion of the remote user's avatars, motion, information is transmitted to a central server process which provides positions updates to client processes for neighbors of the user at that client process. The client process also uses an environment database to determine which background objects to render as well as to limit the movement of the user's avatar.

#6,219,045
Quote:
The present invention provides a highly scalable architecture for a three-dimensional graphical, multi-user, interactive virtual world system. A plurality of users can interact in the three-dimensional, computer-generated graphical space where each user executes a client process to view a virtual world from the perspective of that user. The virtual world shows avatars representing the other users who are neighbors of the user viewing the virtual world. In order that the view can be updated to reflect the motion of the remote user's avatars, motion information is transmitted to a central server which provides position updates to client processes for neighbors of the user at that client process. The client process also uses an environment database to determine which background objects to render as well as to limit the movement of the user's avatar.

and #7,493,558 (which updates 7,181,690)
The abstracts are all very similar as you can see, but the claims for each are slightly different.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:52 am 
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I don't think they'll get far with Blizzard at least, and probably other companies as well.. The patents describe every 3D game made, including those before Worlds.com existed.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:12 pm 
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If the patent office personnel actually read their own guidelines on software patents; they'll see that this is totally frivolous and toss it out. Unfortunately, the average reading level of U.S. citizens is apparently not very high.

I think that the on-line gaming companies ought to band together and shmush this idiocy once and for all.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:51 pm 
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Teedyo wrote:
Unfortunately, the average reading level of U.S. citizens is apparently not very high.

The USA Today is written on a 7th grade reading level. :P

Hmm !! are we doomed :?: :lol:


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