Activision Blizzard sued for patent infringement of virtual worlds usage

Worlds Inc. files lawsuit against ATVI for World of Warcraft and Call of Duty

Activision Blizzard is being sued for allegedly utilizing technology in a patent owned by Worlds Inc. The company claims that ATVI is violating its patent by using a "system and method for enabling users to interact in a virtual space."

Worlds Inc., which claims multiple titles like World of Warcraft and Call of Duty are in violation of the patent, said that it deserves compensation for using technologies developed by the company.

"Technologies created by Worlds have helped the businesses of virtual worlds gaming and the sale of virtual goods to grow into a multi-billion dollar industry," said Worlds Inc. CEO Thom Kidrin.

"While we are pleased to see that the gaming industry and its rapidly growing customer base have enthusiastically embraced our patented technologies, we deserve fair compensation for their use."

The smaller firm can count this as the second time they've filed such suit. 2008 saw them filing suit against NCSoft for the game City of Heroes. That case was dismissed in 2010 after an undisclosed settlement was attained.

Activision has yet to respond to the lawsuit.

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Latest comments (9)

Wesley Williams Quality Assurance 10 years ago
I've wondered why we rarely see news about games patents (outside of hardware), so it'll be interesting to see if this holds up. I'd imagine the ramifications could be pretty huge as that's a very generic patent.
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game10 years ago
"system and method for enabling users to interact in a virtual space."
So a patent for all videogames then? That has to be patent trolling unless I've missed something, how did that patent get upheld?
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Weston Sohlden10 years ago
A rather broad patent if you ask me.
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Show all comments (9)
Reminds me of Edge (hope I don't get sued for using that word).
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Ollie Miles Writer/Artist/Designer/Programmer 10 years ago
So...thatís like...EVERY MULTIPLAYER EVER then. Specific technology, networking protocols or something, sure, but 'if your game contains a system and method for enabling users to interact in a virtual space then you can be sued', patent trolling if I ever heard it.

A 3D environment, people represented by avatars, interacting with each other, a system and method for enabling users to interact in a virtual space. Way to broad. Waaay to broad.
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd10 years ago
A great example of what's wrong with the patent system. The people granting patents have no understanding of the subject matter they're addressing, and thus grant patents that are way too broad or are for industry standards. Software patents need to disappear entirely, and hardware patents need major revision.
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Thomas Eidson Senior System Designer, Heatwave Interactive, Inc.10 years ago
Yup! The patent trolls are going after the big money now. It is disgusting for leeches to write up something so broad and see people settle with them. They do nothing but drain the economy of its talent and innovation. It is pure paper blackmail.

Blizzard/Activision should counter sue, claim their patent is baseless, and have the patent voided. If companies would stand up and take away these false patents, then our economy would be better for it.
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Neil Alphonso Lead Designer, Splash Damage Ltd10 years ago
The actual patent:

But pretty much yeap, every multiplayer online game in existence. Great racket!

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Neil Alphonso on 10th April 2012 11:58am

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Christopher Charles Test Assocate III, MGS10 years ago
It always bothers me when patent trolls do stuff like this. They patent something, sit on it for a number of years waiting for a large company to come along and scream at the top of their lungs that they were not compensated. I really think that it should be outlawed and cases like this should be thrown out of court.
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