In the wonderful world of intellectual property law, patent lawsuits are a dime a dozen. Often, they’re ridiculous, transparent attempts at money grabbing. Here’s another one.
Worlds.com, a website that no one has ever heard of, filed a patent back in 2000 for a “method for enabling users to interact in a virtual space” in an “interactive virtual world system”. In 2007, this patent was approved. Now that they basically have a patent on the internet, they’ve gone ahead and initiated a lawsuit against NCsoft, known for MMOs like Guild Wars, Aion, and the soon-to-be defunct Tabula Rasa, for infringing on said patent.
NCsoft is the first target, but more are sure to follow (especially once the lawyers find out about a little company called Activision-Blizzard). While it’s extremely likely that the patent will get pulled for being too broad, there’s always a small chance that the case will actually go to trial. If, for some reason, it succeeds, there are incredibly serious ramifications for almost everyone in the gaming industry.
Do you think the lawsuit has merit? Is the industry in danger of an onslaught of lawsuits from Worlds.com?