NY Firm Sues MMO Creators

PalTalk Holdings Inc. of Jericho, New York has filed a patent lawsuit against a slew of massively multiplayer online videogame makers.

Filed on September 14 of this year, the suit targets Sony Computer Entertainment America, Sony Online Entertainment, Sony Corporation of America, Sony Corporation, Activision Blizzard, Inc., NCSoft Corporation, Jagex Limited and Turbine, Inc.

PalTalk alleges that the defendants all use PalTalk technology in an unauthorized and infringing manner and says it has “suffered damages in at least the tens of million of dollars” at the hands of each defendant. The company is seeking a jury trial.

In 2002 PalTalk purchased patented technology from HearMe that allows "efficient handling of communications between players necessary to maintain a consistent game environment for all players,” covering a “number of aspects of online gaming, including communications through a group messaging server.”

The case was filed in Eastern District of Texas Marshall Division, a region, according to Boston.com, known for being “plaintiff-friendly.” The site also notes that a similar lawsuit by PalTalk against Microsoft in 2006, for use of its technology in the Halo series, resulted in the software giant eventually licensing PalTalk’s technology.

GP has the full 16-page complaint in PDF form for your perusal here.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0
    Unruly says:

    Sorry, patent invalidated by prior art – MUDs. Unless those patents were filed/pending before 1980, they shouldn’t be able to hold any water. Any MUD is a system that provides "efficient handling of communications between players necessary to maintain a consistent game environment for all players” and includes "communications through a group messaging server.” So again, sorry, PalTalk, but that patent shouldn’t have ever been issued in the first place.

  2. 0
    Unruly says:

    Welcome to a world where software and business method patents are allowed. And patent reform isn’t going to happen any more than copyright reform will, since business method and software patents benefit a lot of the same people who have managed to distort copyright into its current form.

  3. 0
    Wormdundee says:

    There needs to be some serious patent reform to stop this bullshit. I thought patents had to be ‘narrowly focused’ but it seems like nowadays you can patent something like ‘a system to facilitate transfer of video and audio data’ can pass, meaning that whoever patents that can sue the crap out of anybody who has any sort of video chat software.

    Lawsuits like this are such bullshit, and it just fills up the courts with crap.

  4. 0
    GrimCW says:

    doesn’t that also mean that ALL games that have worked online suffer this same infringement?

    i mean, i can recall all the way back to at least Quakeworld having Team chat.

    and more modern games that are hosted company side have very similar chat functions and chat rooms.

    these trolls are sickening.. how mind you has the company suffered "tens of millions" in damage for a device they never even provided or designed?


  5. 0
    Neeneko says:

    While I tend to argue on the side of the troll, I completely agree with this idea.  Software patents were  a bad idea and continue to cost the industry billions per year in wasted resources.

  6. 0
    Sporge says:

    You know what unless the patent is exactly what they use they deserve nothing.  Furthermore I really dislike the idea of seling patents, it just gives people the ability to take credit for something thye didn’t do.

  7. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    I always wonder in a case like this whether the comapny suing actually BELIEVES their own bullshit.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  8. 0
    nightwng2000 says:

    I did.  A Long, Long Time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

    It was crap.

    Not only would I NOT have paid for it then OR now, if I were the type of person to pirate software, this wouldn’t be on my list, let alone on the bottom of my list.

    ‘Nuff said.


    NW2K Software


    Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Leave a Reply