[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Tuesday, 2008-12-30

The patent that time forgot

Filed under: Gaming,Intellectual Property,Software — bblackmoor @ 14:20

Remember Worlds.com? The 3D pioneer is still around and they’re ready to sue. In fact on Christmas Eve, the company sued NCSoft, for violating patent ‘690, a system and method for enabling users to interact in a virtual space.

NCSoft’s games, such as Dungeon Runners, Guild Wars and Lineage, are all said to violate the patent. And NCSoft is just the start. World.com’s IP lawyers feel that they have a “very robust patent,” reports Virtual Worlds News.

(from Worlds.com patent litigation could ripple through virtual worlds, ZDnet)

Even if patents on software were not inherently absurd (and they are), this is a patent on something which had been widely implemented and had even appeared in movies decades before Worlds.com applied for their patent in 2000. Even EverQuest was using virtual avatars for a year prior to Worlds.com’s patent application. Surely the USPTO had heard of EverQuest? How clueless could they possibly be? What technologically illiterate boob signed off on this?