Worlds.com vs Virtual Worlds


Well, it is actually Worlds.com vs NCsoft but the Patents that were supposedly violated by NCsoft is broad and covers most of the Virtual Worlds out there.

Follow up:

Worlds.com holds US Patent #7,181,690 “System and Method for Enabling Users to Interact in a Virtual Space” and US Patent #6,219,045 known as “Scalable Virtual World Chat Client-Server System”.

Patent #7,181,690 Abstract states (copied exactly):

The present invention provides a highly scalable architecture for a three-dimensional graphical, multi-user, interactive virtual world system. In a preferred embodiment a plurality of users interact in the three-dimensional, computer-generated graphical space where each user executes a client process to view a virtual world from the perspective of that user. The virtual world shows avatars representing the other users who are neighbors of the user viewing the virtual word. In order that the view can be updated to reflect the motion of the remote user’s avatars, motion, information is transmitted to a central server process which provides positions updates to client processes for neighbors of the user at that client process. The client process also uses an environment database to determine which background objects to render as well as to limit the movement of the user’s avatar.

Patent #6,219,045 Abstract states (copied exactly):

The present invention provides a highly scalable architecture for a three-dimensional graphical, multi-user, interactive virtual world system. A plurality of users can interact in the three-dimensional, computer-generated graphical space where each user executes a client process to view a virtual world from the perspective of that user. The virtual world shows avatars representing the other users who are neighbors of the user viewing the virtual world. In order that the view can be updated to reflect the motion of the remote user’s avatars, motion information is transmitted to a central server which provides position updates to client processes for neighbors of the user at that client process. The client process also uses an environment database to determine which background objects to render as well as to limit the movement of the user’s avatar.

If Worlds.com win against NCsoft then who’s next? Electronic Arts? Blizzard Entertainment (or their parent company Activision Blizzard)? Sony Online Entertainment? LindenLabs? CCP? Nexon? Gravity? Perfect World? Square Enix?

General Patent Corporation (the company chosen to protect and enforce Worlds.com Patents) Chairman and CEO Alexander Poltorak said that “It’s a system of managing avatars in virtual worlds” and “whoever is working and developing virtual worlds, it’s very relevant”. Mr. Poltorak said to Virtual Worlds News that products from Second Life to World of Warcraft could be affected.

“We are looking at various products and evaluating various technologies,” he explained. “Our immediate objective is to make these patents available, and we hope that the industry will recognize that Worlds.com has been a pioneer in developing this technology since 1994 and 1995.”

What do you think? If Worlds.com win, how will this change the Virtual Worlds landscape? Are we, the ordinary players, going to feel the changes? We’ve all heard about “I/we own this” a lot of times this year and in the previous years, will this be any different? GPC has an extensive and successful litigation history, will this lead to litigation?


Source: Virtual Worlds News

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