AT&T Files Patent to Prevent Predators From Interacting With Minors in Gaming Environments

October 28, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

AT&T Inc. apparently has filed a patent on a system designed to prevent "illegal and criminal activities" on gaming networks by stopping what they describe as "predatory users" from being able to come into contact with others who are considered minors, according to IPWatchdog.

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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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Microsoft Wins Big in Motorola Patent Case

September 6, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

A U.S. District Court jury in Seattle has awarded Microsoft $15 million in damages related to its long-running patent infringement lawsuit with Motorola. This signals the end of litigation (save the appeals process) in the long-running legal dispute over claims by Motorola that the Xbox 360 infringed on several of its patents related to video decoding and wi-fi technology.

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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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Nintendo Ordered to Pay $15.1 Million in 3DS Lawsuit

August 15, 2013 - James Fudge

Bloomberg is reporting that Nintendo has been ordered to pay inventor and former Sony employee Seijiro Tomita $15.1 million dollars for infringing on the technology he created that was allegedly used for the 3DS hand-held gaming device. The $15.1 million represents about half of the $30.2 million Tomita was awarded by a jury when he won his lawsuit against Nintendo in March of this year.

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Federal Judge Sorts Expert Witness List in Motorola-Microsoft Patent Dispute

August 8, 2013 -

A federal judge in Seattle has swept through a list of experts that both Microsoft and Motorola want to testify in the continuation of their contentious court battle over a technology licensing dispute related to wireless technology used in the Xbox 360. The back and forth between Microsoft and Google subsidiary Motorola is about how much Microsoft should pay for essential technology on a reasonable and nondiscriminatory (RAND) basis.

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Obama Administration Overturns ITC Ban on Older iOS Devices

August 5, 2013 -

The Obama administration has lifted an International Trade Commission ban on older models of Apple's iOS devices (iPhones and iPads). As a general rule, presidents do not intervene in cases handled by the ITC - the last time an ITC ban was overturned was in 1987. The news was revealed over the weekend by U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, who announced that  he would stop both an import ban and a cease-and-desist order that would have required Apple to remove the products from shelves.

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Google's Motorola Files Appeal of ITC Decision on Xbox 360 Exclusion Order

July 22, 2013 -

According to a tip sent over by Foss Patents, Google has appealed Motorola's loss to Microsoft in its ITC patent case which sought to have the sale of its Xbox 360 banned in the United States.

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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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Who's Watching Who: Microsoft's Questionable Rewards Patent for Xbox One

June 3, 2013 -

This TechDirt article details a Microsoft patent application related to the Xbox One console that might give you a little pause. The patent, "Awards and achievements across TV ecosystem," uses (what we assume is) the Kinect camera and sensors to tell whether a person is watching an advertisement.

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ITC Rules That Microsoft's Xbox 360 Does Not Infringe on Motorola's Patents

May 24, 2013 -

The International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled on Thursday that Microsoft did not infringe upon any of Motorola Mobility's patents related to its Xbox 360 console. This latest decision from the ITC puts an end to an investigation that stretches as far back as 2010.

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European Commission Mandates the Inclusion of Intellectual Property Rights Measures in TAFTA

May 24, 2013 -

Back in March La Quadrature du Net (a non-profit association defending the rights and freedoms of citizens on the Internet) joined 47 European and International organizations in asking the European Parliament to exclude provisions related to patents, copyright, trademarks, data protection, geographical indications, or other forms of so-called intellectual property from the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA).

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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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Report: UK Parents Soaked for Millions a Month in 'Unauthorized' In-App Purchases

May 8, 2013 -

According to a report in the UK newspaper The Guardian - citing data from a recent Microsoft survey - as much as £30.9 million in purchases a month are made by children without their parents' consent. That is according to 28 percent of 2,000 parents surveyed in the region.

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European Commission Issues Preliminary Antitrust Ruling Against Motorola Mobility

May 7, 2013 -

This week the European Commission issued a preliminary antitrust ruling against Google’s Motorola Mobility related to its heavy handed tactics against Apple in German Courts. The finding could ultimately lead to a large fine for Motorola (and by extension Google) and could lead to Motorola being forced to enter an agreement with competitors to license its patents for a reasonable royalty rate.

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Seattle Court Rules Patents Used by Microsoft Worth $1.8 Million a Year, Not $4 Billion

April 26, 2013 -

The Federal District Court in Seattle, Washington has given Google's Motorola Mobility a slap in the face, ruling that its FRAND patent fees collected from Microsoft to be worth only about $1.8 million a year. The court said that the H.264 video standard and the 802.11 wireless standard patents weren't worth the $4 billion Motorola was seeking to collect.

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Poll

Will the FCC preempt state laws that limit municipal broadband services?:

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PHX CorpI'm going to do a test stream later today, if anyone is intrested07/31/2014 - 2:40pm
Andrew EisenYes, I'm such a big Nintendo dork that I read Nintendo's quarterly financial reports.07/31/2014 - 2:09pm
Andrew EisenCool tidbit - Mario Kart 8 sales account for more than half of total Wii U software sales for the last quarter even though it was only available for the last third.07/31/2014 - 2:09pm
Andrew EisenStill a pretty cool promotion. Unfortunately for me, I'm not interested in purchasing Mario Kart 8 and I already owned or didn't want any of the free games on offer.07/31/2014 - 1:43pm
Andrew EisenInteresting that EU had 10 games to choose from while North America only had four.07/31/2014 - 1:41pm
MaskedPixelanteIt certainly worked, I probably would never have bought Mario Kart 8 if it didn't come with a free copy of Wind Waker HD.07/31/2014 - 1:14pm
Andrew EisenI imagine will see similar promotions like "Buy Mario Kart 8 get a download code for one of these specific games" but almost certainly not for all of its (however you would define) biggest releases.07/31/2014 - 11:24am
MaskedPixelanteI wonder if Nintendo is going to be doing "buy one get one free" promos for all their biggest releases going forward.07/31/2014 - 10:48am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/special-report-retail-revolt-over-pc-code-strippers/013614007/31/2014 - 8:27am
ZippyDSMleeWouldn't they be able to afford and get done in a timely manner a general gba emluator for the 3DS? It seems to me if they want to make money off sales they need to do it.07/31/2014 - 7:25am
Sora-ChanAmbassador program, that's what I was looking for. Anyway the other games that have been made no longer exclusive to the early adopters got updates in their software. It'll only be a matter of time more than likely for the GBA to get the same treatment.07/31/2014 - 5:35am
Sora-ChanI might be naming it incorrectly when I say "founder" i mean the program for earlier adopters.07/31/2014 - 5:34am
Sora-Chanthe 3DS's GBA emulator was a rush job due to the founder program. No other GBA titles have been released on the 3DS yet. If/When they do get around to it, they'll more than likely update the emulation software.07/31/2014 - 5:32am
Zenemulator...it's not just a slap job that makes "some" work..they do it for each which is why they work so well. I would rather have the quality over just a slap job.07/30/2014 - 5:48pm
ZenMatthew there is a difference between "worked" and "accurate". You play the Nintendo VC titles they play as damn close to the original as possible. The PSP would just run them as best they could, issues and all. And Masked...EACH VC title has their own07/30/2014 - 5:48pm
MaskedPixelanteOnce again, the 3DS already HAS a GBA emulator, it just can't run at the same time as the 3DS OS.07/30/2014 - 4:54pm
Matthew Wilsonyou cant street pass in ds mode ether, and if moders can make a gba emulator that runs very well on the psp as I understand it. you are telling me that Nintendo devs are not as good as moders?07/30/2014 - 4:49pm
Zenperformance. Halo 1 and 2 worked great because they actually did custom work on each of them...just like Nintendo does now lol07/30/2014 - 4:08pm
Zenexisting hardware while the GBA has to be emulated completely. Same reason the 360 couldn't run most Original Xbox games correctly, or had issues because they just did "blanket approach" for their emulation which led to game killing bugs or horrible07/30/2014 - 4:07pm
ZenSora/Matthew: It's not just Miiverse, but the whole idea of streetpass and things like that would be affected if the OS is not running. And just because a 3DS game can be downloaded and run does not mean that GBA can as easily. Those 3DS games use the07/30/2014 - 4:06pm
 

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