It seems that lawsuits are the new thing for the gaming industry. The Boston Globe is reporting that Paltalk Holdings Inc. has filed patent infringement lawsuits against Turbine, Sony Corp., Activision Blizzard inc., Jagex, and NCsoft. Paltalk purchased two patents from a company known as HearMe that covered technology that allows data sharing between many computers, allowing the users to all see the same digital images. Paltalk Holdings Inc. alleges that the virtual worlds created by these companies infringes on that patent.
Paltalk has already taken Microsoft to court and that ended with Microsoft deciding to settle for an undisclosed amount of money to license the patents. If Paltalk is successful in this suit, this could create a new hurdle for MMOG and online game developers. Along with that there is the potential for anyone with a current MMOG or online game to be infringing on the patent.
Paltalk has already defended these patents successfully against industry titan Microsoft Corp. In 2006, the company sued Microsoft, claiming that the multiplayer features of its popular Halo video games violated Paltalks patent rights. The case went to trial in Marshall, Texas, in March, but in mid-trial Microsoft settled the matter by paying an undisclosed sum to license the Paltalk patents.