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Gaikai sued by T5 Labs

Game streaming companies going to court over patent rights

Gaikai is being taken to court over the technology behind its game streaming services. Last week, T5 Labs filed suit against the recent Sony acquisition, alleging infringements on a patent for "Sharing a Graphical Processing Unit Between a Plurality of Programs."

T5 Labs claims it is the exclusive licensee of the patent, which was filed last November as a continuation of previous applications dating back to 2002. In the patent, T5 Labs acknowledges previous claims on streaming technology, but places a purportedly new emphasis on modular design for ease of debugging and upgradability. The patent also promises improvements to compression quality and network latency with its specific method of streaming games.

T5 Labs is seeking an unspecified amount in damages. Gaikai has not yet filed its response to the case.

The London-based T5 Labs has been in the streaming business since 2007. At the time, it was positioned as a way to bring PC games to the living room with the assistance of cable providers. The company crossed patent swords with OnLive early last year, although a search of court records found no suit actually filed.

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Latest comments (8)

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.4 years ago
Based on that patent description, that should nullify anything cloud render based or folding applications.
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 4 years ago
That's exactly what I thought Jim. So if T5 Labs succeeds, they'll own practically everything? :P
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Nick Parker Consultant 4 years ago
There are so many patents in the cloud sector such as for progressive downloads and simultaneous multi-app streaming that we should see a waterfall of patent actions within the next year as the industry matures. Remember t5 labs and OnLive locked horns last year.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Nick Parker on 11th October 2012 5:50pm

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Show all comments (8)
Andrew Jakobs Lead Programmer 4 years ago
And in the end, most of those patents are really invalid anyway as they have been done one way or another before...
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Nick Quackenbush Lead 3D Artist, Interceptor Entertainment4 years ago
The vagueness and generic terms of patents are pretty ludicrous. It's amazing that sane people can look at this stuff and say "Yes you may own the right to anything similar." But I guess the aged patent system was really made with this in mind. Sounds like a time for a re evaluation.
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 4 years ago
Software patents are ridiculous. The US patent office issues generic catch all patents that just hold back the advancement of technology. Patent trolls make the effect even worse. Everything we do is iterative, we stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before. Software patents just prevent this whole process. Just look at the Lodsys farce.

I suggest that everyone in the industry reading this writes to their politicians demanding that the situation is sorted out. Otherwise it will come to bite us all eventually. TIGA and UKIE should really be on the case. I have already discussed this with Chris White, the MP for Silicon Spa.
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John Bye Lead Designer, Future Games of London4 years ago
If you come up with a brilliant new rendering technique or compression algorithm or something, by all means patent it, as long as it's specific, innovative, and you're willing to license it to other people at a reasonable rate.

The problem is the proliferation of wishy washy "look and feel" and technique patents which are so vague they can apply to things the original designer never even considered, and the abuse of the patent system by big companies to squash competition.

This article is well worth a read. The fact that companies like Google and Apple are apparently now spending more money on patents and lawsuits related to them than R&D to generate new innovations is a shocking indictment of the current system.
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 4 years ago
@John Bye

Excellent article. I have just sent it to the Silicon Spa MP and to TIGA.
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