| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

Reader Comments (60)

Posted: Dec 30th 2008 10:10AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
To paraphrase Janet Jackson (I've been listening to 80s music a lot lately), "What exactly is it that Worlds.com has done for me lately ?"

Posted: Dec 30th 2008 10:10AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
or to be more precise, have worlds.com ever done anything significant with the patented tech (when they filed it)
Reply

Posted: Dec 30th 2008 10:41AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
damn thats messed up

Posted: Dec 30th 2008 11:50AM Lateris said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
The giant is waking from its slumber. Blizzard is going to spank these money grubbing con artists.

Posted: Dec 30th 2008 11:10AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
This is just unfortunate and sad. I can sympathize if those at Worlds.com feel they've been wronged by their patents being violated. No one would want that done to them. That being said, the patents for these items were done on a very vague scale. I'm still rooting for the MMO industry, but I have my worries.

Posted: Dec 30th 2008 11:14AM Lethality said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
That's the problem with the patent system... it should be done away with completely. They are way to broad in scope, and open to interpretation which ultimately means more litigation in our legal system.

C'mon... Amazon was granted a "patent" on one-click purchasing. Really? REALLY? Who the hell reviewed that?
Reply

Posted: Dec 30th 2008 11:32AM (Unverified) said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
I'm really hoping here that Blizzard/Activision, SOE, EA and some of the other big MMO companies ride in with their lawyers and back NCSoft now before it's too late, as mentioned above, if this case goes through due to NCSoft being "weak" at the moment, it could have far more expensive and negative ramifications for all other MMO developers in the future.

The kind of knock-on effect this would have on independant or small developers could stop development of smaller more innovative games altogether, and encourage only the creation of games that are a "sure thing"

Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but if any game that goes into development has to hand over handfulls of cash to worlds.com before they even get started, that has to have some kind of effect...

Posted: Dec 30th 2008 6:06PM Firebreak said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
This case has such an impact on the industry as a whole that it is hardly going after just NCsoft. I can not imagine that the other big names are going to let NCsoft fail from a lack of funding. If they do fail then Blizzard/activision is going to be next.
Reply

Posted: Jan 4th 2009 2:21PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I agree. I'd love to see a company that *does* have a massive army of undead lawyers, like Blizzard/Activision, swoop in and smack Worlds.com down hard.
Reply

Posted: Dec 30th 2008 12:01PM (Unverified) said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
This is sooo messed up.
That patent was filed nearly a decade AFTER MMO's were invented.
I believe this shows yet another flaw in how our patent system works. Hopefully this entire case gets thrown out.

FYI NeverWinter Nights, Meridian59, Ultima Online, Everquest and Asheron's Call were all out on the market before worlds.com decided to claim they invented the wheel...

Posted: Dec 30th 2008 12:08PM jmerriex said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Actually no this is not true.

The patent was filed in 1995 and 2000 respectively. UO and EQ where just getting off the ground then as was online gaming in general.
Reply

Posted: Dec 30th 2008 12:06PM jmerriex said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I know a lot of people are looking at this as only MMOs, but these patents could technically be applied to console online games and even the console makers themselves. ANY online chat could be compromised as well (Vent, Skype, AIM, etc). The worst part is, if this is upheld, the World.com could go after the developers then the publishers then the distributors on the same title.

I am not an opponent of the patent system. I think a lot of people knock it but don't really understand it. I AM a huge opponent of seedy patents like these. The fact these got approved clearly show the lack of understanding and knowledge the General Patent Corp has (even in 1995 games like Warcraft II were using this kind of tech).

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Posted: Dec 30th 2008 12:16PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
This potentially applies to many server-client architectures, including some single-player games that I can think of that run connected server and client processes to handle an environment - and any client-server system that handles character or avatar positions.
Reply

Posted: Dec 30th 2008 12:34PM (Unverified) said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
1995? That's nice.

MUDs, MUXes and MUSHes have been around back in 1994.

Online chat was not invented by worlds.com. Sorry.

Posted: Dec 30th 2008 1:33PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Doesn't matter who "invented" it, if you or someone else has a patent documented. It will be you who owns the idea or concept regardless, but I think (don't hold me to it though) if you do not pursue an infringement on your patent, you lose the right to make that claim when someone does infringement on your patent.
Reply

Posted: Dec 31st 2008 12:19AM Ripper McGee said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Please note, the patents are specifically for a "three-dimensional graphical, multi-user, interactive virtual world system". MUDs, MUXes, MUSHes and MOOs aren't 3 dimensional (or even graphical, as the case may be).

Habitat wasn't 3D, nor was AOL's Neverwinter Nights (arguably, the first commercial graphical MMO). Meridian 59 is regarded as the first 3D MMO and it launched in September 1996. If Worlds.com/Worlds Inc. submitted a patent application in 1995, it was before the first 3D graphical MMO ever went live. That being said, the date of their initial patent application seems to be in November 1996, months after Meridian 59 went live.

On a side note, its an incredible coincidence that the patents include art of penguin avatars interacting in a virtual 3D space and the award given to video game pioneers by the Game Developers Conference used to be called the "First Penguin Award" (http://www.gamechoiceawards.com/archive/penguin.htm)
Reply

Posted: Dec 31st 2008 8:03AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
What does it matter that it's for 3D?

Just adding "on the internet" or "in 3d" to something is not a patent worthy invention.
Reply

Posted: Mar 11th 2009 8:01PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Solaris: Not entirely true.

Under US Patent Law the "inventor" is the first to "invent and reduce to practice", not the "first to file" as it is in most other countries including those in Europe.

So if it could be shown that Meridian 59 was indeed live before Worlds.com filed their patent then MMO's win.

Of course that menas that the inventors of Meridian 59 could then sue everyone for patent infringement. But I think that as Massively said in a previous articale on this, the Laches doctrine may win out - worlds.com have willingly not claimed on this for many many years, and should not be entitled to any reimbursement for it - nor should anybody else.
Reply

Posted: Dec 30th 2008 2:03PM Rich said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Be interesting to see if the Biliski decision will effect this. If it does, then World.com is hosed.

Posted: Dec 30th 2008 3:06PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Wellcome to the wonderful world of capitalism.
You know microsoft tried to register the patent of doubleclicking in order to force all software houses pay for anything that works with a doubleclick.
Now some con artist in 1995 that could see far in the future, patents something thats already been invented by someone else and then lets all gaming companies develop games using their patent for 14 years. Now, with the economic crisis they come claiming rights and compensation for patents they INTENTIONALLY let being infriged.

And you call this justice? Well, i suppose, since you voted for it...

You know, they re going to win, because it's a halter well placed and well tightened. And after this, gaming will remain to the past, and eventually wither. Now, why do that? Someone could say it's because the future young slaves must not have time for themselves. Welcome to capitalism slave!

Now let's make an MMO with this scenario!!! :P

Featured Stories

Leaderboard: Which dead MMO is your favorite?

Posted on Jul 30th 2014 12:00PM

The Daily Grind: Do you prize MMO stability?

Posted on Jul 30th 2014 8:00AM

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW