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Death Knight [Paltalk lawyer] casts [litigation] for xxx hundred million in damages.  (Source: Tenton Hammer)
Paltalk Holdings Inc. is taking on the MMO industry's biggest players in court

In online games, one crucial aspect of gameplay is to synchronize the scene across a wide array of players' computers.  Events like explosions or special effects must be transferred to and played simultaneously on a broad variety of internet connect machines which is not always an easy task.  In 2002, Paltalk Holdings Inc. of Jericho, N.Y. purchased two patents from a company called HearMe.  The patents cover sharing data among many connected computers so that all users see the same digital environment.

Now Paltalk, a reputed patent monger, has taken many of the massively multiplayer online (MMO) gaming industry's biggest players to court in Marshall, Texas, claiming they violate its patents.  Paltalk hand picked the east Texas court for its long history of favoring plaintiffs (patent holders) in lawsuits.  States Christopher Donnelly, a partner at Donnelly Conroy & Gelhaar LLP in Boston, "The eastern district of Texas is considered a plaintiff-friendly jurisdiction."

Paltalk is suing Turbine Inc. of Westwood makers of the Lord of the Rings Online MMORPG, a popular $15 per month entry; Japan’s Sony Corp., maker of the online game Everquest; Activision Blizzard Inc., whose World of Warcraft is the world’s most popular subscription-based online game; NCSoft Corp. of South Korea, maker of the game Guild Wars; and the British firm Jagex Ltd., which produces the free online game Runescape. 

Noticeably absent in the suit are CCP Games, makers of EVE Online; Square Enix makers of the popular Final Fantasy X11; Linden Lab, which produces the popular Second Life game; and GRAVITY Co., Ltd., which produces Ragnarock online, a game popular for its free servers.  It is unclear why Paltalk singled out the companies it did, while ignoring others, which likely use similar technologies.

Paltalk has a strong legal track record.  In 2006 it took Microsoft, the world's largest software maker, to court over technology in Halo.  The case went to a trial in Marshall, Texas, in March.  Mid-trial Microsoft gave in, conceding the validity of Paltalk's clients and paying it a reportedly massive undisclosed licensing fee.

The firm, like others, looks to continue to milk the patent system -- and the U.S. software industry -- for all its worth in the friendly Texas courts.  Last month a Texas court ordered Microsoft to stop selling Microsoft Word within 60 days, as well as paying $200M USD in damages to another patent monger firm.  The ban has been temporarily lifted, but the damages remain, unless Microsoft can win an appeal.

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RE: Patents Suck
By jonmcc33 on 9/18/2009 10:21:28 AM , Rating: 0
No, because then nobody can steal your inventions/creations (Microsoft vs Apple). You might never use it but at least nobody else makes billions off of what you invented/created.

RE: Patents Suck
By SSDMaster on 9/18/2009 10:34:05 AM , Rating: 3
You don't realize the purpose of patents. Patents are supposed to help innovation and the free market. If your not using your inventions then that defeats the purpose.

You sited Microsoft vs Apple. They both use their creations. Your analogy is mute.

RE: Patents Suck
By ZachDontScare on 9/18/2009 3:15:45 PM , Rating: 5
Thats the problem, though.... with patent trolls innovation isnt helped, its hurt because companies will hesitate to try something new for fear of being sued into the ground by a patent squatter.

RE: Patents Suck
By Lifted on 9/19/2009 4:30:02 AM , Rating: 4
"Your analogy is mute."

You should turn your speakers up.

RE: Patents Suck
By Alareth on 9/19/2009 12:35:14 PM , Rating: 2
I was going to let your/you're pass, but you hit my pet peeve button.

It's MOOT, not mute, MOOT!!!!!

RE: Patents Suck
By aharris on 9/19/2009 4:51:55 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget cited vs sited.

...there goes all my votes for this article.

RE: Patents Suck
By omnicronx on 9/18/2009 10:51:51 AM , Rating: 2
Obviously you don't get it, half the time its just an idea, they didnt own or create anything. This can stiffle innovation, as you have a patent owner that is not willing to create an actual product, but at the same time won't let others either. The patent system was not designed to let people sit on their ideas and do nothing with them, waiting for a slim hope that someone will create a similar invention before their patent runs out so they can cash in. So if you can explain to me how this kind of behavior helps protect anything/anyone, my ears are open.

RE: Patents Suck
By Pythias on 9/18/2009 11:03:09 AM , Rating: 2
This is a good point. They should be able to create a working
at the time of the filing. If there exists already a working model somewhere in the patent! Problem solved.

RE: Patents Suck
By redbone75 on 9/19/2009 11:10:18 AM , Rating: 2
Patents should be like domain registering: you have to renew it after one or two years and show actual proof of concept. Proof of concept when you first file for the patent in order for it to even be granted. Then, for each subsequent request for renewal there must be demonstrable improvement on the development of an actual product/s that incorporate said patent. Otherwise, you are given a one-year probationary period, after which said patent is revoked. When you do have a working, marketable product you are granted renewal periods of five years.

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