Nintendo Secures IA Labs Patents in Sherriff's Sale

January 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Nintendo has acquired the patents of IA Labs following a legal victory in court over the company related to patents - but the company secured them outside a courtroom, sort of. Nintendo announced that it secured the patents officially on January 7, during a sheriff's sale in Montgomery County, Maryland. The company sued Nintendo in 2010, claiming that it violated several of its patents in Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus. Nintendo successfully defended against the lawsuit and obtained judgment in its favor in February 2012.

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Google Wants Change of Venue in Rockstar Consortium Patent Fight

December 27, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Rockstar Consortium (partly owned by Apple and Microsoft), a patent-holding company formed from the bankrupt Canadian telecom company Nortel, sued Google and manufacturers of Android phones over patents almost two months ago. Earlier this week Google punched back at the company, filing a counter-suit seeking to invalidate Rockstar's patents. That's a normal step for a defendant in a patent lawsuit, but Google didn't file its counter-claim in the East Texas court where Rockstar sued them. Instead it filed in Northern California.

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Operation Ninja S.T.A.R. Inches Towards Funding Goal

December 16, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The IndieGoGo campaign for Operation Ninja S.T.A.R. has managed to raise $2,547 of its $17,500 goal, with 26 more days to go. Launched last week, Operation Ninja S.T.A.R. seeks to raise funds to closely examine a patent owned by Treehouse Avatar Technologies to see if there is any evidence that the invention existed prior to the patent application. Their ultimate goal is to render the patent invalid.

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Operation Ninja S.T.A.R. Seeks Funding to Invalidate Treehouse Avatar Patent

December 10, 2013 - James Fudge

Inspired by the software patent trolling efforts of patent house Treehouse Avatar Technologies, a new IndieGoGo campaign launched today seeks to raise funds for a project that will ultimately help the little guy. The project is called Operation Ninja S.T.A.R., and seeks to raise $17,500 to closely examine a patent owned by Treehouse Avatar Technologies to see if there is any evidence that the invention existed prior to the patent application. Their ultimate goal is to render the patent invalid.

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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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PHX Corphttp://www.polygon.com/2015/5/26/8659397/graphics-complaints-arise-following-new-witcher-3-patch-for-pc Graphics complaints arise following new Witcher 3 patch for PC05/26/2015 - 7:53am
E. Zachary KnightInfo, or they could have left it only for people in your friends list.05/26/2015 - 7:21am
Infophileas being "family friendly." A kid could easily flip an option and be hit with a torrent of abuse they weren't expecting.05/26/2015 - 5:30am
InfophileI think Nintendo was between a rock and a hard place with voice chat in Splatoon. Leave it in, and jerks will drive off younger players. Leave it out, and competitive players won't play. Even if it were in but disabled by default, they couldn't sell it...05/26/2015 - 5:29am
Matthew Wilsonthis is a nice video on P.T https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-85jO6nRNQ05/25/2015 - 11:57pm
Matthew Wilsonmaybe, but its still kinda sad even as a joke.05/25/2015 - 11:51pm
Goth_SkunkThe best commentary is delivered through humour.05/25/2015 - 11:36pm
Andrew EisenIt's not needed. It's a joke. Albeit one with quite a bit of commentary packed into it.05/25/2015 - 10:59pm
Matthew Wilsonmot game related, but still interesting. http://www.polygon.com/2015/5/25/8654983/jurassic-world-chris-pratt-apology the fact that this is even needed in modern culture is a embarrassment.05/25/2015 - 10:26pm
Matthew Wilsonyeah, but with no voice chat its doa.05/25/2015 - 9:48pm
TechnogeekYet, you're going to be hard-pressed to find anyone other than insecure 2EDGY4U teenagers seeing it as anything other than an extremely fun game.05/25/2015 - 8:36pm
TechnogeekSplatoon's probably the best example at this point. Gameplay-wise, it's a team-based third-person shooter with a significant online component. It's rated E10.05/25/2015 - 8:36pm
TechnogeekThe silliest thing about most of the Nintendo hatred is that they may be the last company that interprets "family-friendly" as meaning "fun for more than just the really young kids".05/25/2015 - 8:33pm
ZippyDSMleeWell it could be worse, like skyrim out of the box, a shame DAI dose not have that level of editing...05/25/2015 - 5:58pm
Zenpretty well without getting "nasty". Many people are disappointed in the decision and the about face on the status of the games development.05/25/2015 - 4:22pm
ZenEvery market has horrible people...but being like this towards all of them in a group is not a way to garner support and can make people more hostile towards you. Ironically his response was to someone that wanted to state a disagreement, but worded it05/25/2015 - 4:22pm
Goth_SkunkAs demonstrated by Ian's remarks, that 'market of possible fans' is apparently negligible.05/25/2015 - 4:18pm
Zeninformation while other versions had everything talked about openly.05/25/2015 - 4:15pm
ZenYeah, I've read through it and wanted to make sure I had it quoted correctly. I get there are issues, but this is horribly unprofessional and just burning a market of possible fans..many of which supported them and were waiting while getting little to no05/25/2015 - 4:15pm
Goth_SkunkOh wow. That's not even misquoted, he actually said that. Though for additional context in previous pages, he truly does not think highly of Nintendo console owners, and claims that in the industry, he's not alone.05/25/2015 - 4:12pm
 

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