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3-11-2009 @ 4:52PM
What the hell.That's like the creators of Maze War or Wolfenstein 3D suing Bungie, Epic, and Ubisoft for making First-Person Shooter games.It's a GENRE, a type of product, no one holds the patent on all films, or all books.TL:DR - This guy is a douche, and if he wins, it will further prove how retarded the U.S. patent system has become.
3-11-2009 @ 6:14PM
It's not even like that, since those were early examples of the genre. It's like the makers of Unreal suing everyone else for making FPSes, even though they didn't even come up with the idea first themselves.
3-11-2009 @ 7:57PM
It doesn't matter if he's being a douche (and he is, no argument there), he has the patent, he can do what he likes. Sue them or not, he can do it.It's Blizzards fault IMO anyway, they should've done more research. As should any of the other developers. If they had taken the time to look deeper into 3D world patents they may have stumbled across this "gem" of a patent and may never have bothered to make WoW (which we would not be able to complain about since we'd be used to it's non-existence, as well as all other MMO's non-existence unless they pay out this guy).To me, this guy IS a douche. An incredibly smart one. He has a legally binding patent, he can sue EVERY developer that has made a 3D virtual world. He's asking for a license, he could sue them. Either way, suing them or being paid for a license, he could end up one very rich man.And to me, that's just goddamn smart. So yes, he is definitely a douche. A damn big one at that, but he's smart and he's going to be richer than us.
3-11-2009 @ 8:24PM
If he has even the slightest chance of winning, Blizzard will hire mercenaries to take him out.
3-11-2009 @ 11:03PM
@psy, the patent was only granted in late 2007, early 2008 (it takes awhile) (it's also incredibly vague and could almost be argued to hold sway over IMs and Facebook/Myspace sites) start worrying if/when NCsoft loses, they went after them first because their warchest is small and they want a judgment in their favor. (part of the judgment they're seeking is a declaration that their patent is enforcable) they are announcing other targets now to dissuade other developers from bankrolling NCsoft's case. Worlds knows they have a losing case, they just need one ill-informed judge/jury to suddenly be rolling in it.
3-12-2009 @ 8:07AM
Having negotiated and counter-written Non-Disclosure Agreements, studied and written papers on Copyright and digital products, and consulted pro bono for some U.S. patent search agents, I can say prior art pretty much equals 'STFU'. In fact, some of the patent claims specifically do not apply to WoW:#6219045 1. This line item specifically mentions limiting displayed avatars in the world, I believe anyone who has played Wintergrasp knows that WoW does not limit displayed avatars beyond a maximum nunmber, resulting in incredible lag and server crashes. 2. 3. and 4. are methods of computing 1., already mentioned. 5. Many elements here are actually too broadly worded to argue efficiently and collide heavily with prior art. items (a)-(b) Nearly any undergraduate CompSci major could easily argue the meaning of 'object' well out of reach of this patent, as the word is not defined in the patent. The difficulty would be in trying to show the ontological concept of an code/action 'object' that Words, Inc. patented is the same thing that Blizzard coded. While simple arguments exist here, to prove it, many, many arguments can be made to break it. item (c) describes any Internetworked client/server item (h) in fact describes in general nearly any 3D digital display, which certainly existed before this patent. .. and so on. I don't think this patent poses any threat.#71816901. This item suffers the same problem as the first item in the above patent, WoW is not inherently scalable based on coded avatar maximums. WoW can and does crash because of this.2. 3. 4. 5. addresses 1.7. depends on throttling of user position information, which WoW doesn't seem to do.8. addresses 7.9 through 20 might collide with prior art based on the definition of 'virtual space'. If 'virtual space' is definited to be, in short, a graphical representation of client's avatars as displayed on client machines and as determined by a central server, then there is prior art reaching back a decade or more, specifically BBS online games. Based on this really, really quick read with no actual information about Blizzard's coding practices... I think this suit is really just a wide troll hoping to force some settlement somewhere. It doesn't seem to have much traction. The really key element where there is much innovation is in the scalability aspect of limiting displayed avatars, but in my experience (and not knowledge, there is a difference), it seems WoW does not do that. They gain scalability though partitioning the world (instances, areas, realms), through hardware loading and coding practices other than limiting on-screen displayed avatars. Many of the other claims are downright laughable, and based on the date of issuance possibly even woefully negligent in prior art search.
3-12-2009 @ 8:10AM
There's tons of prior art.I coded a MUD long before 1995.That's a virtual world where avatars can meet. Sure, it's text and not graphical, but it's the same thing in the end.
3-12-2009 @ 11:22AM
@PsyYou say that as though you think the US Patent system is infallible and they never issue bogus patents.Ha.With the many examples of prior art, this guy is probably going to be hard-pressed to find a judge that will side with him.Also, since when does being clever/rich make it acceptable for someone to be a douche?
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