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Posts with tag patent

Blizzard scores a victory against patent troll Worlds, Inc.

Activision Blizzard has won a victory over Worlds Inc, which has been leveraging its patents on basic virtual world principles -- like the ability to chat with other users in a virtual environment -- to sue MMO companies like Blizzard and Second Life makers Linden Labs. Patent trolling can be big business and, indeed, seems to be the primary business that Worlds Inc is in these days. However, they may be running out of luck in this case, as the latest ruling suggests the patents are invalid because they describe things already in public use before they were filed.

However, this ruling is certainly not the end of the ongoing legal drama involving Worlds, which has lauded the ruling as a clear victory for itself. But with the Supreme Court currently considering whether to take stronger action against patent trolls, which may make it easier for sued companies to recover legal fees from patent trolls (and thus deter these sorts of lawsuits), it may be harder for Worlds to find traction on such lawsuits in the future. We'll have to keep watching to see just what happens between Activision Blizzard and Worlds, but it seems unlikely that they'll manage to recover from this ruling.

If you want all the details, check out the writeup on Gigaom or, if you're fluent in legalese, read the decision yourself.

Filed under: News items

Choose My Adventure: Patent and Foxlight

Choose the adventures of the WoW.com staff as we level our characters in <It came from the Blog> on Zangarmarsh (US-PvE-H).

I'm so sorry I never had the stream last week as promised. I got sick, then The Spawn got sick and we had to go visit Great Grandpa who was sick. Boo! (The Spawn and I are fully recovered and Great Grandpa is well cared for.) You may have also noticed we didn't have our usual polls on Friday. That's because we are going to have them on Wednesdays from now on. Our adventures will be recapped on Mondays, which begins today with the return of Foxlight and Patent after the break. Ch-ch-ch-changes! But first, the schedule:

Schedule
  • Adam Holisky as Adammentat, the level 62 tauren druid, will play on Monday at 10 p.m. EDT.
  • Robin Torres as Robinemia, the Forsaken huntress: Wednesday, 11 p.m. EDT. Note: This will be streamed.
  • Amy Schley as Patent, the level 29 troll rogue: Thursday, 10 p.m. EDT
  • Anne Stickney as Annephora, the level 42 troll warrior, will play on Saturday at 1 a.m. EDT (which is Friday at 11 p.m. Zangarmarsh time).
Adventurers who play when they can
  • Fox Van Allen as Foxlight, the level 25 blood elf paladin
  • Lisa Poisso as Prupher, the level 11 tauren druid
  • Michael Sacco as Shockbroker, the goblin shaman
  • Christian Belt, as Selfloathius, the level 16 blood elf warlock
  • Robin Torres, as Robinemia, the level 29 Forsaken mage
  • Matthew Rossi as Andrenorton, the level 17 troll mage
  • Michael Gray as Grayfields, the level 17 tauren hunter
  • Gregg Reece as Sandwichdoc, the level 16 troll shaman

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Filed under: It Came from the Blog, Choose My Adventure

Choose My Adventure: Where's Roblinator?

Choose the adventures of the WoW.com staff as we level our characters in <It came from the Blog> on Zangarmarsh (US-PvE-H).

She's in there somewhere -- falling to her doom. Not really. A parachute appeared. No goblins were harmed in the taking of that screenshot. Anyway, here's the schedule:
  • Robin Torres as Roblinator the goblin huntress: Wednesday, 11 p.m. EDT Update: TBA
  • Amy Schley as Patent, the level 23 troll rogue: Thursday, 10 p.m. EDT
  • Lisa Poisso as Prupher the proofreading druid: Thursday, 10 p.m. EDT
  • Fox Van Allen as Foxlight, the level 22 blood elf paladin: Friday, 8 p.m. EDT
  • Michael Sacco as Shockbroker, the goblin shaman; Christian Belt, as Selfloathius, the level 16 blood elf warlock; Elizabeth Harper as Faience, the level 24 troll shaman; Matthew Rossi as Andrenorton, the level 17 troll mage; Michael Gray as Grayfields, the level 17 tauren hunter; and Gregg Reece as Sandwichdoc, the level 16 troll shaman, will be making appearances as they can.
I'm playing Roblinator on Lost Isles (US-PvE-H) during my session tonight and will be streaming. Update: Due to the fact that I am having to reinstall the beta and The Spawn is being rather emo today, I am postponing the stream until later on in the week. More on Roblinator plus recaps from last week after the break.

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Filed under: It Came from the Blog, Choose My Adventure

Choose My Adventure: Welcome Lisiel

Choose the adventures of the WoW.com staff as we level our characters in <It came from the Blog> on Zangarmarsh (US-PvE-H).

My fellow Drama Mama, Lisa Poisso, will be joining the Choose My Adventure gang. Try not to scare her away. First schedule, then polls:
  • Fox Van Allen as Foxlight, the level 22 blood elf paladin: Friday, 8 p.m. EDT
  • Michael Sacco as Sahko, the orc warlock; Christian Belt, as Selfloathius, the level 15 blood elf warlock; Elizabeth Harper as Faience, the level 24 troll shaman; Matthew Rossi as Andrenorton, the level 17 troll mage; Michael Gray as Grayfields, the level 17 tauren hunter; and Gregg Reece as Sandwichdoc, the level 15 troll shaman, will be making appearances as they can.
We have polls for Lisiel, Sandwichdoc and Patent after the break.

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Filed under: It Came from the Blog, Choose My Adventure

Choose My Adventure: Stories and recruitment

Choose the adventures of the WoW.com staff as we level our characters in <It came from the Blog> on Zangarmarsh (US-PvE-H).

I will be streaming my session tonight. Details to be posted just before it goes live.
  • Robin Torres as Robinemia, the undead mage: Wednesday, 11 p.m. EDT
  • Fox Van Allen as Foxlight, the blood elf paladin: Saturday, 8 p.m. EDT
  • Michael Sacco as Sahko, the orc warlock; Christian Belt, as Selfloathius, the blood elf warlock; Elizabeth Harper as Faience, the troll shaman; Matthew Rossi as Andrenorton, the troll mage; Michael Gray as Grayfields, the tauren hunter; Adam Holisky as Adammentat, the tauren druid; and Gregg Reece as Sandwichdoc, the shaman, will be making appearances as they can.
We have stories from Patent, Sandwichdoc and Selfloathius. Also, as I have said before, Robinemia needs help.

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Filed under: It Came from the Blog, Choose My Adventure

Choose My Adventure: Troll stories

Choose the adventures of the WoW.com staff as we level our characters in <It came from the Blog> on Zangarmarsh (US-PvE-H).

This week, we have trolls. No, I don't mean the trolls complaining that <It came from the Blog> is a Horde guild. I mean our lovely troll ladies are telling us stories of their recent encounters. But first, the schedule for the rest of the week:
  • Robin Torres as Robinemia, the undead mage: Wednesday, 11 p.m. EDT
  • Amy Schley as Patent, the troll rogue: Thursday, 10 p.m. EDT
  • Fox Van Allen as Foxlight, the blood elf paladin: Friday, 8 p.m. EDT
  • Michael Sacco as Sahko, the orc warlock; Christian Belt, as Selfloathius, the blood elf warlock; Elizabeth Harper as Faience, the troll shaman; Matthew Rossi as Andrenorton, the troll mage; Michael Gray as Grayfields, the tauren hunter; Adam Holisky as Adammentat, the tauren druid; and Gregg Reece as Yakkowakko, the orc warlock, will be making appearances as they can
Turn the page if you want to read about Annephora and Patent.

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Filed under: RP, It Came from the Blog, Choose My Adventure

Choose My Adventure: Week 2 recaps

Choose the adventures of the WoW.com staff as we level our characters in <It came from the Blog> on US Zangarmarsh-H.

Before we get to our adventures, here is the remaining schedule for the week:
  • Elizabeth Harper as Faience, the troll shaman, and Robin Torres as Robinemia, the undead mage: Thursday, 11 p.m. to midnight EDT
  • Michael Gray as Grayfields, the tauren hunter: Thursday, 8:30-10 p.m. EDT
  • Amy Schley as Patent, the troll rogue: Thursday, 10-11 p.m. EDT
  • Matthew Rossi as Andrenorton, his new troll mage: Saturday, 2-4 p.m. EDT
  • Adam Holisky as Adammentat, the tauren druid, will be making appearances as he can.
The adventures of Patent, Grayfields, Faience and Robinemia are after the break.

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Filed under: WoW Insider Business, It Came from the Blog, Choose My Adventure

Worlds.com aims to sue over the virtual world of Warcraft


Business Insider (no relation) is reporting that Worlds.com CEO Thom Kidrin is intending to sue anyone who will not license their virtual worlds product through him, and since Kidrin claims they hold the patent to virtual worlds, everyone has to get a license. Since this is a legal issue I'll lay this out in a few easy to read steps:
    1. Thom calls up Blizzard, Linden Lab, etc...
    2. Thom says "Hey, I invented virtual worlds! Pay me money since you're making money off the concept."
    3. Blizzard and Linden Lab laugh and hang up, assuming it's a prank call.
    4. Thom goes to court.
That's the gist of it. Kidrin plans on going after a few other companies before knocking on Blizzard's door: notably, Worlds.com has already filed suit against NCsoft, which publishes City of Heroes and Guild Wars.

How did Worlds.com wind up with the patent to the idea of a scalable virtual world with thousands of users? Kidrin has said that they invented the virtual worlds with a product for sick kids called Starbright World back in 1997. (Though apparently the concept was thought up back in 1995.)

However, let's take a look at the definition of Cyberspace. It was first used in William Gibson's 1982 story "Burning Chrome" and again used in a few of his books, with "Neuromancer" being the most popular. Gibson's definition for Cyberspace reads:

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, News items

Blizzard patents "BattleChat," renews Blackthorne patent

Blizzplanet has uncovered that Blizzard has apparently filed a patent for something called "BattleChat," which purports to provide "an interface for the electronic transmission of messages and data including voice, text, and message transmission." Along with the recent news that Blizzard is seeking mobile developers, Blizzplanet supposed that this means Blizz is developing a mobile application for chatting with players either in World of Warcraft or Battle.net (their online network from previous games).

It's all speculation at this point, however-- we did hear back at BlizzCon that Blizzard was planning some really interesting updates for Battle.net, so this just could be a social networking launcher/application for Blizzard's games (chat with, and play with, your friends in multiple Blizzard games at the same time). Either way, odds are Blizzard is working on something big.

And Blizzplanet also discovered that Blizzard also recently updated their Blackthorne patent as well. So if anything is going mobile, that's another good guess (seeing as the game has already been released for a few older consoles and the Game Boy Advance). If these patents are any indication, there's going to be a lot of interesting products on tap at Blizzard Entertainment.

[Thanks, Medievaldragon!]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

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