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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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The world is full of dirtbags like this company
By masamasa on 9/18/2009 10:57:54 AM , Rating: 5
The patents cover sharing data among many connected computers so that all users see the same digital environment.
You've got to be kidding. I understand that the importance of protecting IP rights, but this is downright ridiculous. These patent mongers are dirtbags who are too lazy to develop anything worthwhile themselves, so instead they piggyback the success of others. If a meteor landed on that company and wiped it out completely it would be doing the world a favor. Tired of reading about these pathetic lawsuits.

RE: The world is full of dirtbags like this company
By Pythias on 9/18/2009 10:58:11 AM , Rating: 5
The patents cover sharing data among many connected computers so that all users see the same digital environment.

Wouldn't that cover...the internet?

By Bateluer on 9/18/2009 11:01:47 AM , Rating: 2
Don't give them ideas. Patent troll scum.

RE: The world is full of dirtbags like this company
By Pythias on 9/18/2009 11:48:32 AM , Rating: 2
I may be scum, but I'll never stoop to patent squatting.

By someguy123 on 9/18/2009 1:27:56 PM , Rating: 2
he's talking about the company, not you man.

By Pythias on 9/18/2009 1:52:16 PM , Rating: 4
I was trying to be funny and failed miserably.

By tmouse on 9/21/2009 7:42:16 AM , Rating: 2
I believe Troll scum is in the public domain, now patenting the deposition of said scum may be available. ; )

By akugami on 9/18/2009 4:19:13 PM , Rating: 2
I saw the Boston Globe article yesterday. There are no links to the actual patents and the language contained within the patents. At least not yesterday when I searched. The description in the article that you yourself quoted is so vague it's ridiculous.

I posted on the AT forums about this subject but I have to ask how the description differs from MUDs. The only thing I can think of is that one contains visual and audio cues and one contains textual cues. They both provide a system for sharing data among many connected computers that allows all users to "see" the same digital environment and interact with said environment.

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer
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