Discussions

News: Worlds.com: We're 'Absolutely' Going To Sue Second Life

  1. Worlds.com CEO Thom Kidrin is putting the entire virtual worlds industry on notice: His company claims the idea of a scalable virtual world with thousands of users is its patented intellectual property, and Thom said he intends to sue anyone who refuses to enter into licensing negotiations -- including giants such as Second Life and World of Warcraft. Already, Korean gaming firm NCSoft, maker of City of Heroes and Guild Wars, has been sued by Worlds. (In East Texas no less, a jurisdiction infamous in intellectual property circles for plaintiff-friendly rulings in patent cases.) Thom said if he succeeds in his litigation, he "absolutely" intends to pursue follow-up suits against industry leaders Second Life and WoW. Continued at http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/siliconalley/big-tech/worldscom_ceo_were_absolutely_going_to_sue_second_life_and_world_of_warcraft_2009_3.html .
  2. BTW, does "Snow Crash" count as prior art?
  3. DIVE, prior art: http://www.sics.se/dive/
  4. The patents involved are related to large scale virtual worlds and the architectures required to achieve them, not really about '3d worlds', though that is just one example of something that *could* use the patents that are allegedly being violated.
  5. Patents are less than useless. They were originally intended to encourage innovation, to protect the innovator from having their innovation stolen and monetized by someone else, by giving temporary exclusivity, or monopolies on the innovation. But nowadays, patents have the direct opposite effect. They discourage innovation. They allow people to file broad, general patents, and just sit on them and do nothing with them, until someone "violates" the patent, and then sue. The patent system now punnishes innovators, discourages innovation (why innovate when you can possibly get sued?), and encourages scammers and those that want a free lunch. If there is any justice, Worlds will just die a slow, painful, business death, and just go away.
  6. encourages scammers and those that want a free lunch.
    And how is your solution ("not having any patents", I'm guessing?) not encouraging scammers and those that want a free lunch?
  7. And how is your solution ("not having any patents", I'm guessing?) not encouraging scammers and those that want a free lunch?
    The problem with these kinds of patents is that there is very little upfront investment to obtain one. At least with drug patents lots of expensive research is required to even get to the patent stage, but all these recent software patents just seem to be a case of predicting some more or less inevitable technological advance and then being the first to rush to the patent office with it. At least without patents the 'scammers and free lunchers' have to do some legwork. They might be able to 'steal' my idea, but they still have to create a more desirable (cheaper, better, faster) implementation before I am impacted. Even then I will still have users that invested in me in the early days, I am just losing out now because someone is doing it better. It probably gives the megacorp license to run roughshod over the little guy.... but guess what? They are doing that anyway, and if you just wait until you have a nice implementation of your idea before telling the world chances are someone interested would rather buy your work, than waste time trying to re-implement it. I think this works better than trying to ski through the ever tightening slalom of "things that people with access to lawyers have already idlely thought of" system that seems to exist in the US at the moment... but hey... no skin off my nose... I (usually) live in Europe, no software patents here yet :o)
  8. And how is your solution ("not having any patents", I'm guessing?) not encouraging scammers and those that want a free lunch?


    The problem with these kinds of patents is that there is very little upfront investment to obtain one.
    That's possibly a problem but it's not the biggest one (IMO) that we have with software patents in the US. The real issue is that the patent office is not really evaluating these patent applications to see if they are novel and that there is no prior art. A large number of these patents would be thrown out if challenged. But the patent trolls make it cheaper to settle than to get the patent thrown out. I had a thought that if we can't get rid of software patents at least the government could fine obvious patent trolls the legal fees of getting a given patent thrown out. I'm not a lawyer so I don't know how precisely that would be done and it might not be feasible but something has to give.
  9. I know I am going off topic. I am just sitting and waiting for the whole IT market to collapse under lawsuits and billionaire compensations. The financial crisis should have taught that common sense, agility and sound business models are the key to survival. Lawsuits and IP are not, at least in my opinion.
  10. Isnt?[ Go to top ]

    Isn't the Web a 'Large scale virtual world' of a type ?
  11. Uh, I think they should try this in a virtual courtroom. I wonder who would have jurisdiction...