Ontario-based web services company Treehouse is getting ready to rock and troll. The company, who was awarded a vague patent (United States Patent No. 8,180,858) for the "Method And System For Presenting Data Over A Network Based On Network User Choices And Collecting Real-Time Data Related To Said Choices" (or the 858 patent as they refer to it in their lawsuit) has decided to sue Turbine in Delaware for violating the patent with its game Dungeons & Dragons Online. Interestingly enough, the patent was awarded on May 15, 2012.
The company claims that Turbine's games violate its patent because its games – Dungeons & Dragons Online and The Lord of the Rings Online – allow "tallying the number of times the selected character attribute(s) have been selected by users of the game."
The company seeks a "permanent injunction enjoining Turbine with its respective officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys, and all persons in active concert or participation with any of them who receive actual notice of the order by personal service or otherwise, from infringing the ‘858 Patent;' an "award of damages adequate to compensate Treehouse for the infringement by Turbine along with pre-judgment and post-judgment interest;" and "reasonable attorneys’ fees and expenses."
Considering that both games have been around for a very long time and plenty of other games use the methods mentioned in the patent, it would be difficult to see Treehouse prevailing in this case..
You can read the entire filing on Scribd.