U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Software Patent Case

December 9, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

On Friday the Supreme Court announced that it will take on a case that will examine the validity of software patents. The court will hear Alice v. CLS Bank, which will attempt to answer the question of whether so-called software patents are impermissibly abstract. In May of this year a divided federal court was deadlocked on the case, with five judges voting to strike down patent claims to a "computer system programmed to implement a financial transaction," and five judges ruling to uphold the claims.

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EFF Applauds Passage of The Innovation Act in the House

December 5, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) issued a statement today praising the House of Representatives passing a bill to deal with patent trolling. The bill, the Innovation Act, was supported by a majority of House members, winning passage by a vote of 323-89. All that's left is for the Senate to take up the bill, which it plans to do before the end of the year.

While the EFF applauds the House's efforts, it also notes that the Innovation Act is by no means a perfect bill:

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Turbine Settles Lawsuit with Treehouse Avatar Technologies

November 25, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

We have learned two things this week about Treehouse Avatar Technologies. Inc.: first, they are owned by a publicly traded Canadian company called - Wi-LAN Inc. (TSX:WIN, NASDAQ:WILN) and that the company has settled its lawsuit with Turbine. Apparently rather than fighting the accusations that Turbine violated its software patents the makers of D&D Online and The Lord of the Rings Online have opted to enter into a licensing agreement with the firm.

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Senator Wants to See an End to Patent Trolling Demand Letters

November 8, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) convened a meeting of the Senate Commerce Committee this week, with the goal of ending the practice by patent trolls using demand letters to extort funds from individuals and companies, according to a lengthy report in Ars Technica. The meeting brings four key personalities in patent reform to Capitol Hill to pick their brains on how to go about accomplishing such a lofty goal.

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Obama Administration Upholds Samsung Device Ban

October 9, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The Obama administration could have overturned a patent ruling that will keep some Samsung devices out of the country, but it has declined to do so, according to The Hill. Earlier this year the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) ruled that some of Samsung's devices violated patents held by Apple. It was a ruling that the Obama administration had the authority to reverse, but U.S.

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Activision Blizzard Sues Worlds, Inc. for Patent Infringement

October 7, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

In what can only be described as ironic, Activision Blizzard has filed a lawsuit against Worlds, Inc. for patent infringement. In its lawsuit, the World of Warcraft maker says that Worlds, Inc. has violated two of its patents that relate to navigating a 3D space and the interaction of objects with a 3D space. The irony is that Worlds, Inc. sued NCSoft - a lawsuit the two companies settled in April of 2010 - related to scalable chat systems and another one related to interacting in a virtual space.

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Tech Companies Battle Over Patent Protection Expansion Bills

September 25, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Two factions of tech companies are in a battle with lawmakers over current legislative efforts to allow the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office (USPTO) to examine more closely the validity of patents at the center of lawsuits between several tech companies.

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New Zealand Bans Software Patents

August 29, 2013 - James Fudge

Software developers and patent trolls take note: the New Zealand government has passed a law that essentially makes the practice of patenting software illegal and unenforceable in the region. The law, which was under consideration and amended several times over the last five years, repeals and replaces the Patents Act 1953, which was based on the United Kingdom Patents Act 1949.

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Tropico 4 Developer Targeted by Treehouse Avatar Technologies

July 19, 2013 -

Kalypso Media USA has confirmed with GamePolitics that Haemimont Games has received a letter from the law firm representing Treehouse Avatar Technologies. Haemimont Studios received a letter on July 1 related to its Prohibition-era mob-themed action strategy game Omerta - City of Gangsters and how "it could be" violating Treehouse's 858 patent (U.S Patent 8,180,858), "Methods for Presenting Data Over a Network Based Network User Choices and Collecting Real-time Data Related to Said Choices."

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Veteran MUD Developer Iron Realms Entertainment Receives Letter from Treehouse

July 18, 2013 -

GamePolitics has learned that another independent game developer received a letter on July 1 from the law firm (David, Littenberg, Krumholz, & Mentlik) representing Treehouse Avatar Technologies' 858 patent (U.S Patent 8,180,858) "Methods for Presenting Data Over a Network Based Network User Choices and Collecting Real-time Data Related to Said Choices." MUD and MMORPG maker Iron Realms Entertainment received a letter at the beginning of this month similar to the letters we have already reported on concerning this particular 858 pat

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EFF and 50 Organizations Urge Congress to Reform the Patent System

July 17, 2013 -

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and 50 organizations have sent a letter to U.S. lawmakers in both houses of Congress urging them to reform the patent system. The appeal urges Congress to deal with "abuses of the legal system by certain patent assertion entities, commonly referred to as patent trolls."

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Wi-Lan Loses Patent Infringement Case Against Mobile Phone Makers

July 17, 2013 -

What happened to Ottawa-based patent-licensing firm Wi-Lan in an East Texas court this week has to be the nightmare of every company using patent licensing portfolios, lawsuits, and settlements as their business model of choice.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 60

July 15, 2013 -

In Episode 60 of the Super Podcast Action Committee, hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the latest SHIELD Act, the many letters of Treehouse Avatar Technologies, Nintendo's EVO misstep, Square Enix's bad idea to deal with jailbroken iOS devices, and fake geek girls. Download Episode 60 now: SuperPAC Episode 60 (1 hour, 13 minutes) 59.1 MB.

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MMO Developer Unistellar Industries Gets Trolled by Treehouse

July 13, 2013 -

Unistellar Industries is the sixth independent studio to receive a letter from the law firm representing Treehouse Avatar Technologies on July 1. Unistellar Industries operates the space-themed MMO Rise: The Vieneo Province. The subscription-based MMO game has been operating since 2006.

unistellar.pdf
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Treehouse Avatar Technologies Legal Representative Responds to 'Patent Trolling' Accusations

July 12, 2013 -

When we first started writing about law firm Lerner, David, Littenberg, Krumholz & Mentlik sending letters on behalf of Treehouse Avatar Technologies to independent game development studios concerning an 858 patent (U.S Patent 8,180,858), we reached out to the signatory on those letters - Stephen F. Roth - to give him an opportunity to tells his client's side of the story.

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Poll: Should Patent Trolls Pay All Costs and Attorney’s Fees If They Lose?

July 10, 2013 -

Patent trolls.

Nobody likes them.  Always hiding under bridges and eating sheep.  If that weren't bad enough, they also like to acquire generic and incredibly broad patents and spam every business within earshot of infringement in an attempt to collect settlement monies.  They typically have nothing to do with the patent they own and often don't make or sell anything.  Other than the bridge/sheep thing, they pretty much just try to take advantage of small companies that don't have the bank to fight it out in court.

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Three More MMO Developers Receive Letters from Treehouse Attorneys

July 10, 2013 -

GamePolitics has learned that at least three more independent development studios received letters from the law firm representing Treehouse Avatar Technologies claiming that they "may be infringing" on a patent the company holds because they make online games. Earlier in the week we detailed how the law firm representing Treehouse sent a letter to Bothel, Washington-based indie developer Bad Pug Games.

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Rep. Peter DeFazio Puts Patent Trolls on Notice

July 10, 2013 -

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) has penned an editorial over at The Hill espousing the benefits of the SHIELD Act which he crafted with the help of Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) with input from tech start-ups, consumer groups, and legal professionals from all across the country.

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Treehouse Targets Indie Studio with Threat of Patent Infringement Lawsuit

July 8, 2013 -

On July 1, a law firm representing Treehouse Avatar Technologies sent a legal packet to Bothel, Washington-based indie developer Bad Pug Games warning the two-man studio that it was violating an obscure 858 patent (U.S Patent 8,180,858) "Methods for Presenting Data Over a Network Based Network User Choices and Collecting Real-time Data Related to Said Choices."

Demand Letter.pdfPatent Claims.pdf
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Report: FTC Expected to Launch Investigation into Patent Troll Practices

June 21, 2013 -

This week the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will announce plans to start an investigation into the questionable practices employed by patent trolls, according to a New York Times report. The investigation will be announced at a conference headed up by FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez.

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White House Takes Aim at Patent Trolls

June 4, 2013 -

Patent trolls have one more thing to worry about today as President Obama focuses his attention on curtailing their questionable legal activities with a new plan that includes five executive actions and seven legislative recommendations.

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Nintendo Wins Appeal in Wii Patent Case

May 14, 2013 -

The U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. has sided with Nintendo in a patent lawsuit filed by Motiva LLC in 2008 alleging that the Wii console infringed on technology that facilitated "a system to track player position and movement." In its ruling the court gave the plaintiff a scathing rebuke while rejecting its appeal, noting that litigation was "Motiva's only activity that could be related to commercializing the technology."

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EFF Calls for Support of The SHIELD Act

February 27, 2013 -

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is asking the Internet community to let their elected representatives in Washington D.C. know that they support H.R. 845, better known as the SHIELD Act (check it out here (PDF)). What is the SHIELD Act? "SHIELD" stands for "Saving High-Tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes."

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Judge Tells Apple and Samsung to Limit Scope of Claims in New Patent Infringement Case

February 22, 2013 -

At a hearing yesterday US District Judge Lucy Koh told Apple and Samsung that both sides need to limit their cases to 25 patent claims each, and no more than 25 allegedly infringing products could be listed. Judge Koh threatened to put the whole case on hold unless both sides narrow the case down and accused them of overbroad accusations.

"As this case as it is currently framed, I'm refusing to go forward," Koh said.

Just take your best shots," Koh said. "I don't want a lot of sausage filler."

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Patent Troll Lays Claim To Podcasts; Demands Payment

February 11, 2013 -

Not even a year into its life, the Super Podcast Action Committee may be coming to a bitter end. Unbeknownst to its co-hosts or producer, it was violating a patent with every episode recorded and published for your listening pleasure. With the potential licensing fees and damages needed to be paid, it would kill the Super PAC over night.

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Jury Sides with MobileMedia in Apple Patent Case

December 20, 2012 -

A jury has ruled in favor of MobileMedia and against Apple in a patent lawsuit involving the iPhone. The jury came to the conclusion that Apple's iPhone infringes on three U.S. patents and some claims of the '068, '075, and '078 patents. The '068 and '075 U.S. patents cover "rejecting incoming calls" and call-processing techniques - or how these functions are communicated wirelessly between base stations and landline telecommunications networks. The U.S. '078 patent relates to changeable keys. The judge overseeing the jury trial, U.S.

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Electronic Frontier Foundation Receives $500K from Markus Persson and Mark Cuban

December 20, 2012 -

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has received $500,000 in funding from Minecraft creator and Mojang co-founder Markus "Notch" Persson and serial entrepreneur (and Dallas Mavericks owner) Mark Cuban. Both donated $250,00 each to help the advocacy group fight for patent reform in Washington, according to GII. Cuban is also a star on the popular ABC television show "Shark Tank."

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Apple, Samsung Ask Court to Add Devices to Patent Infringement Case

November 26, 2012 -

Apple is fighting back against Samsung's recent move to add some of its newer devices to the ongoing patent infringement war the two have been fighting in courts around the world. After successfully getting the iPhone 5 added to a U.S. lawsuit, Samsung has asked the U.S. District Court in San Jose to add the iPod touch 5, iPad 4, and iPad mini to the list of devices that infringe on its patents.

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Wizards of the Coast Sued for Magic: The Gathering Online Patent Infringement Claims

November 2, 2012 -

Wildcat Intellectual Property Holdings of Dallas, Texas has sued Wizards of the Coast in Federal Court claiming that the Hasbro subsidiary has violated its electronic trading-card patent by publishing "Magic: The Gathering Online." While Wildcat is suing Wizards of the Coast, it does not name Hasbro in its lawsuit.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 24

October 15, 2012 -

It is shocking just how many gamers have at least one or two games lying around that they haven't finished or haven't played. In episode 24 of the Super Podcast Action Committee Andrew and EZK spend a fair amount of time talking about that topic and revealing the results of the latest GamePolitics poll. They also dissect the latest lawsuits including one against Turbine Entertainment and a settlement agreement between Spry Fox and 6Waves over some unauthorized cloning of a popular iOS app. FX Network's Archer also gets an honorable mention..

 
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Poll

Should 'Hatred' have been removed from Steam Greenlight?:

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ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante:And this is why I'm a one legged bandit.12/19/2014 - 10:51am
ZippyDSMleeE. Zachary Knight: I buy what I can as long as I can get cracks for it...then again it I could have gotton Lords of the Fallen for 30 with DLC I would have ><12/19/2014 - 10:50am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/12/19/marvel-vs-capcom-origins-leaving-online-storefronts-soon/ Speaking of "last chance to buy", Marvel vs. Capcom Origins is getting delisted from all major storefronts. Behold the wonders of the all digital future.12/19/2014 - 9:59am
MaskedPixelanteSeriously, the so-called "Last Chance" sale was up to 80% off, while this one time only return sale goes for a flat 85% off with a 90% off upgrade if you buy the whole catalogue.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
E. Zachary KnightInfophile, Tha is why I buy only DRM-free games.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
MaskedPixelanteNordic is back on GOG for one weekend only. And at 85% off no less, which is kind of a slap in the face to people who paid more during the "NORDIC IS LEAVING FOREVER BUY NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE" sale, but whatever...12/19/2014 - 9:28am
InfophileRe PHX's link: This is one of the reasons the digital revolution isn't all it's cracked up to be. There's also the flip side where Sony can block access to games you've bought if they ban your account for unrelated reasons. All power is theirs.12/19/2014 - 8:52am
MaskedPixelantehttp://uplay.ubi.com/#!/en-US/events/uplay-15-days You can win FREE GAMES FOR A YEAR! Unfortunately, they're Ubisoft games.12/18/2014 - 6:29pm
Papa MidnightAh, so it was downtime. I've been seeing post appear in my RSS feed, but I was unable to access GamePolitics today across several ISPs.12/18/2014 - 6:06pm
james_fudgeSorry for the downtime today, folks.12/18/2014 - 5:54pm
PHX Corphttp://www.craveonline.com/gaming/articles/801575-sony-refuses-offer-refund-playstation-game-fraudulently-purchased-hacker Sony Refuses to Offer Refund for PlayStation Game Fraudulently Purchased by Hacker12/18/2014 - 1:43pm
NeenekoMakes sense to me, and sounds kinda cool. One cool thing about Minecraft is the meta game, you can implement other game types within its mechanics. There are servers out there with plots, an episodic single player one sound kinda cool12/18/2014 - 11:07am
MaskedPixelantehttps://mojang.com/announcing-minecraft-story-mode/ Umm... what?12/18/2014 - 10:24am
NeenekoThat would make sense. Theaters probably can not afford the liability worry or a drop in ticket sales from worried people. Sony on the other hand can take a massive writeoff, and might even be able to bypass distribution contracts for greater profit.12/18/2014 - 10:03am
ConsterNeeneko: I thought they cancelled it because the major cinema franchises were too scared of terrorist attacks to show the film?12/18/2014 - 9:55am
Neeneko@Wonderkarp - there is still a lot of debate regarding if the movie was a motive or not. Unnamed officials say yes, the timeline says no.12/18/2014 - 9:10am
NeenekoSomething does not smell right though, Sony is no stranger to being hacked, so why cancel this film? For that matter, they are still not giving in to hacker's original demands as far as I know.12/18/2014 - 9:06am
PHX Corp@prh99 Not to mention the Dangerous Precedent that sony's hacking scandal just set http://mashable.com/2014/12/17/sony-hackers-precedent/12/18/2014 - 8:25am
Matthew WilsonI hope its released to netflix or amazon12/18/2014 - 12:11am
prh99Basically they've given every tin pot dictator and repressive regime a blue print how to conduct censorship abroad. The hecklers veto wins again. At least when it comes to Sony and the four major theater chains.12/17/2014 - 11:55pm
 

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