Bloomberg reports that Microsoft has emerged as the winner in a patent infringement lawsuit involving the Xbox and multiplayer gaming. The court battle, which has dragged on for six years, has been dismissed by a Detroit judge. The case was dismissed on July 20 by U.S. District Judge Paul D. Borman (Hochstein v. Microsoft, 04-73071) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Michigan (Detroit).
The lawsuit was filed in 2004 against Microsoft by inventors Peter Hochstein and Jeffrey Tennenbaum and patent holder Harold Milton Jr. It alleged that Microsoft's Xbox 360 device violated a patent filed in 1994 covering "two or more people play video games together without being in the same location." The judge ruled that the patent only covered "game systems that are electrically connected" and that such a connection doesn’t include the type of link among players used by the Xbox.
Obviously this was a major win for Microsoft, but some mud in the eye of Sony who settled with the trio of inventors over similar claims against the PlayStation 3 many moons ago.