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..

Gaikai Sued by T5 Labs Over Streaming Patent

October 11, 2012 -

Gaikai is being taken to court over the technology behind its game streaming services, GamesIndustry International reports. Last week, UK-based T5 Labs filed a lawsuit against Gaikai Inc. saying that the company's streaming game technology infringes on a patent it holds. Gaikai was acquired this year by Sony. Last year the company accused OnLive of violating its patents but court documents were either never filed or unobtainable at this time.

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Treehouse Sues Turbine over Patent Issued in 2012

October 11, 2012 -

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.

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Twitter: Patent Trolls Should Bear the Financial Burden of Filing Bad Lawsuits

October 8, 2012 -

In a guest post on GIGA OM, Ben Lee, the legal counsel for Twitter argues that it's high time that those who want to go to war over patents - particularly those who use lawsuits as a business model as opposed to actually building anything - should have to bear the cost of litigation.

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Samsung Adds iPhone 5 to Various Claims against Apple in Never-Ending Patent Fight

October 2, 2012 -

According to this Tech Radar report, Samsung has gone ahead and added the iPhone 5 to the list of apple devices that infringe on its patents. The company has added the latest iPhone to eight complaints it has filed against Apple, claiming that its devices infringe on various patents it holds.

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U.S. Patent Office Teams Up With Stack Exchange to Vet New Patents

September 20, 2012 -

The popular Q&A site Stack Exchange has teamed up with the U.S. Patent Office to crowd source the patent process. They are doing this with the launch of a new sub portal at patents.stackexchange.com. The channel dedicated to patents will allow the public to scrutinize pending patent applications and will allow them to submit information, and possible prior art for the Patent Office to review.

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Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures Needs 'VP of Global Good'

August 8, 2012 -

If you want to know what it might be like to work for the dark side, then this job doing charity work for Intellectual Ventures as its "VP of Global Good" might be right up your alley. The company that is best known as a super powered patent troll is seeking someone to be in charge of doing charity work for the company from its dark citadel in Seattle.

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Poll

Did Microsoft pay too much ($2.5 billion) for Minecraft developer Mojang?:

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You're not permitted to post shouts.
Andrew EisenWhat I find most amazing is the fact that Yiannoppoulos's evidence doesn't in any way support his claim. And I still fail to see the lack of ethics in discussing the ethics surrounding public interest vs. personal privacy.09/19/2014 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenOh yeah, some outlets sensationalize things (especially with the chosen headline). No argument there. As far as gender issues not being widespread? I'm inclined to disagree but I suppose it depends on what specifically you're talking about.09/19/2014 - 3:43pm
SleakerI think I've been qualitatively informed by those Factual Femenist videos that there isn't reallly a widespread gender issue, and that there are select news outlets that try to sensationalize things.09/19/2014 - 3:37pm
james_fudgeI'm just going to leave this here before someone else does:http://yiannopoulos.net/2014/09/19/gamejournopros-zoe-quinn-email-dump/09/19/2014 - 3:21pm
NeenekoI have met some real jerks and slimeballs in gender activism, but when I hear the idea that there are many 'not nice' people it comes across as code for 'uppity people who do not know their place'.09/19/2014 - 12:10pm
Andrew EisenKrono - Many of the people pushing gender issues aren't nice people? I'm sure not everyone's a sweatheart but so far, everyone I've seen with such a critique had absolutely nothing to back them up.09/19/2014 - 10:46am
InfophileI think there's a qualitative difference between a site and a hashtag though. GP can ban anyone from commenting, so they can have the image they want. But anyone can use any hashtag and try to poison it. Granted, that hasn't happened to the other one yet09/19/2014 - 10:13am
E. Zachary KnightKrono, your comparison to GP does not work. We do not need to get rid of GP, because no one associates GP with trolls and abuse. The same can't be said for gamergate.09/19/2014 - 10:09am
Krono@Michael You don't remember the "other hashtag" because no one actually uses it. We're talking 836,983 uses of #gamergate over it's lifetime, and 8,119 for the "alternative". 47,129 uses on the 18th vs 41. With #notyourshield at 140,133 uses & 5,209 uses09/19/2014 - 9:48am
Kronoresearch it. Changing tags to get away from trolls would be like wiping GamePolitics and restarting under a new name to get away from people calling Jack Thompson a filthy names in the comments section.09/19/2014 - 9:35am
Sleaker@quiknkold - seems like all that page is is a bunch of random developer opinions and rumors that we're supposedto do what with?09/19/2014 - 9:31am
Kronoas an opportunity to push back against them. It's one of the things muddling the issue. @conster A new hashtag would do nothing to improve anything. Trolls will simply follow to the new hashtag, and it will confuse the issue for anyone attempting to09/19/2014 - 9:25am
Krono@Andrew aaah. Yes, I'm sure there's some of that. Part of the problem is many of the people pushing gender issues are not very nice people. Basically the latest incarnation of moralists we've seen in the past couple decades. Naturually some will take this09/19/2014 - 9:23am
quiknkoldhttp://www.nichegamer.net/2014/09/real-gamedevs-sound-off-regarding-the-gamergate-controversy/09/19/2014 - 8:35am
MaskedPixelanteMeanwhile, in news that actually DOES matter, Scotland voted "NO" to Scottish independance.09/19/2014 - 8:20am
ConsterSeriously? "We shouldn't make a new hashtag - it's better to associate ourselves with psychos than to decrease our visibility"?09/19/2014 - 7:54am
Michael ChandraI forget what it is exactly, but there already is another hashtag that some use, exactly to separate themselves from the abusive behaviour. So don't bother lying to me.09/19/2014 - 7:06am
quiknkold2 to 3 or more09/19/2014 - 6:53am
quiknkoldMichael Chandra : I'll say this. The only reason they havent used another hashtag is because it would look like a form of dividing the arguement. Using another Hashtag has come up, and they feel like if they made a new hashtag, it'll split the debate from09/19/2014 - 6:53am
Michael ChandraYou want a debate? Build a wall between you and the poisoned well. Make clear you despise it, despise the behaviour. Then get into the other issues you are troubled with, and don't say a single word again about the poisoned well.09/19/2014 - 3:46am
 

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