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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Lodsys Adds Four Companies to Patent Infringement Lawsuit

April 8, 2013 -

Lodsys, a company that seems to specialize only in filing patent infringement lawsuits, has added a number of new video game industry targets in the mobile games space. According to Ars Technica, Gameloft, Gamevil, BackFlip Studios, Pocket Gems and The Walt Disney Company are now named defendants for violating a patent the company holds related to technology used for in-app purchasing.

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ITC Dismisses Google Patent Claims Against Xbox 360

March 25, 2013 -

On Friday the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) finally and formally dismissed a case brought forward by Google's Motorola Mobility unit that alleged that Microsoft's Xbox 360 violated a handful of its patents. ITC Judge David Shaw issued the ruling on Friday, dismissing the last of the five patent disputes. The verdict is still subject to a review by the ITC, and Google retains the right to appeal the decision if it so chooses.

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Nintendo Loses 3DS Patent Infringement Case, Ordered to Pay Ex-Sony Engineer $30.2 Million

March 14, 2013 -

Nintendo has lost a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Tomita Technologies and has been ordered to pay $30.2 million. The patent relates to glasses-free 3D displays, which Sejiro Tomita claims Nintendo used to develop its 3DS hand-held after a 2003 meeting with the plaintiff where he introduced his technology to engineers within the company. Nintendo has been ordered to pay $30.2 million in damages to Tomita Technologies after a jury found that the company infringed on a patent for glasses-free 3D displays.

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Mojang Hard at Work on 'Minecraft Realms'

March 13, 2013 -

Mojang is working on a new service called Minecraft Realms, which it hopes will give those players interested in subscribing their own special little corner of the Minecraft universe.

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Apple Files Patent for System to Resell Digital Goods

March 7, 2013 -

Apparently Apple has filed a patent application that would allow them to - get this - develop a system that would allow the resale and transfer of "used" digital goods. The new patent application published by the USPTO shows how Apple might be able to enable users to resell or lend digital content they’ve purchased in the past. The patent accounts for transfers that can take place either through the original content provider’s store or directly between users. The method described would also allow for transfers of content that is stored in the cloud.

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Judge Diminishes Damages in Apple-Samsung Patent Verdict

March 4, 2013 -

It looks like Apple has just gotten its hand slapped away from Samsung's cookie jar - according to a report this morning on AllThingsD. Judge Lucy Koh, the judge overseeing the Apple-Samsung patent trial threw out part of the billion dollar verdict Apple had previously won in the long-running case and ordered a new trial to determine damages for patent infringement.

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Opening Arguments in Nintendo 3D Patent Infringement Case

February 27, 2013 -

Nintendo is the target of a patent infringement case that claims its use of 3D technology in the 3DS violates the patents held by 58-year-old inventor Seijiro Tomita. Opening arguments in the case began today, according to Destructoid. Tomita claims that he presented his glasses-free 3D technology to seven Nintendo officials at their Kyoto headquarters in 2003. At the time, claims Tomita, he was looking for licensing partners as he awaited his patent application to be approved.

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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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Sony Computer Entertainment America Patent Filing Shows Method for Fighting Piracy

February 25, 2013 -

A patent filed for in 2011 by Sony Computer Entertainment America (and unearthed last week by web site Dark Zero) uses load times to determine if software being loaded into a system is legitimate or pirated.

The patent, "BENCHMARK MEASUREMENT FOR LEGITIMATE DUPLICATION VALIDATION," is described as follows in the patent application:

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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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13 Motorola Claims Tossed Out in Ongoing Patent Case Against Microsoft

February 8, 2013 -

Google’s Motorola Mobility division was dealt a serious blow in its ongoing legal battle with Microsoft over patents after a judge ruled that 13 of the patent claims it had asserted against the Windows and Xbox maker were not valid.

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Google Terminates ITC Complaint Against Microsoft's Xbox 360

January 9, 2013 -

As expected, Google has backed off of its International Trade Commission complaint against Microsoft's Xbox 360 console, which uses one of its video compression patents. The company had sought to stop the sale of the system in the United States while Microsoft and its subsidiary Motorola duked it out in court over royalty payments related to FRAND patents. But earlier in the week the Federal Trade Commission stepped into the fight, ordering Google to take a more reasonable approach to "essential patents."

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Microsoft Expects Motorola to Abandon ITC Complaints Against Xbox 360

January 7, 2013 -

On Friday after the Federal Trade Commission issued an order on Google's Motorola patents and how the subsidiary needed to stop charging high royalties on FRAND patents it holds, Microsoft went into action.

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FTC Orders Google to Stop Charging High Royalties on FRAND-Related Patents

January 4, 2013 -

The Federal Trade Commission issued a Consent Order (PDF) this week forbidding Google from charging a lot of money for certain critical patents it gained when it bought Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in May 2012. This is good news for both Apple and Microsoft, but particularly for Microsoft because (according to Microsoft) Motorola Mobility wanted to charge $4 billion a year in royalties for patents Motorola holds on Wi-Fi and video technology.

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Report: Sony Patent Uses ID to Lock Software to One Console

January 3, 2013 -

A patent application unearthed by a NeoGAF forum post and picked up by Kotaku reveals that Sony has plans to implement a technology to deal with the use of used games on more than one console.

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Poll

Should 'Hatred' have been removed from Steam Greenlight?:

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NeenekoMakes sense to me, and sounds kinda cool. One cool thing about Minecraft is the meta game, you can implement other game types within its mechanics. There are servers out there with plots, an episodic single player one sound kinda cool12/18/2014 - 11:07am
MaskedPixelantehttps://mojang.com/announcing-minecraft-story-mode/ Umm... what?12/18/2014 - 10:24am
NeenekoThat would make sense. Theaters probably can not afford the liability worry or a drop in ticket sales from worried people. Sony on the other hand can take a massive writeoff, and might even be able to bypass distribution contracts for greater profit.12/18/2014 - 10:03am
ConsterNeeneko: I thought they cancelled it because the major cinema franchises were too scared of terrorist attacks to show the film?12/18/2014 - 9:55am
Neeneko@Wonderkarp - there is still a lot of debate regarding if the movie was a motive or not. Unnamed officials say yes, the timeline says no.12/18/2014 - 9:10am
NeenekoSomething does not smell right though, Sony is no stranger to being hacked, so why cancel this film? For that matter, they are still not giving in to hacker's original demands as far as I know.12/18/2014 - 9:06am
PHX Corp@prh99 Not to mention the Dangerous Precedent that sony's hacking scandal just set http://mashable.com/2014/12/17/sony-hackers-precedent/12/18/2014 - 8:25am
Matthew WilsonI hope its released to netflix or amazon12/18/2014 - 12:11am
prh99Basically they've given every tin pot dictator and repressive regime a blue print how to conduct censorship abroad. The hecklers veto wins again. At least when it comes to Sony and the four major theater chains.12/17/2014 - 11:55pm
MaskedPixelante"It's not OUR fault that our game doesn't work, it's YOUR fault for having so many friends."12/17/2014 - 9:48pm
Matthew Wilsonapparently tetris did not work because he has a full friends list12/17/2014 - 9:21pm
WonderkarpSo Sony cancelled the release of the Interview. was it ever confirmed that the Sony hacking was done because of that specific movie?12/17/2014 - 8:54pm
MaskedPixelanteWow, Ubisoft went four for four, I didn't think it was actually possible.12/17/2014 - 8:37pm
MechaTama31Oh, ok, I was mixing up "on Greenlight" and "Greenlit".12/17/2014 - 8:23pm
Matthew Wilson@phx you beat me to it. how do you screw up tetris?! my ubisoft this is just stupid. no one should ever preorder a ubisoft game again! ps people should never preorder any game regardles of dev.12/17/2014 - 6:28pm
PHX Corphttp://www.ign.com/videos/2014/12/17/what-the-heck-is-wrong-with-tetris-ps4 I give up on ubisoft12/17/2014 - 6:01pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://comicbook.com/blog/2014/08/16/exclusive-original-unaltered-cut-of-star-wars-trilogy-to-be-rele/ Yeah, this'll never happen.12/17/2014 - 5:03pm
NeenekoThey have and exercise control over which games are allowed on their privately controlled 'open forum'. Their endorsement is fairly minimal since it is only 'we do not reject this', but it is still an endorsement of sorts.12/17/2014 - 3:58pm
NeenekoHistorically there have been issues with libraries allowing some groups but not others. Perhaps 'endorsement' is too strong a word, but their editorial control IS a preapproval process, even if the standards are pretty minimal.12/17/2014 - 3:56pm
E. Zachary KnightLet's put this a different way. My local library allows any group to reserve and use multipurpose rooms. That does not mean that the Library endorses all events that take place in those rooms.12/17/2014 - 12:54pm
 

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