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March 12th, 2009, 22:45
Eurogamer have an update on Worlds.com's intentions should their suit agaisnt NCSoft be successful.
Confirming our suspicions, Worlds.com has revealed that it intends to sue Blizzard and Linden Labs if its patent suit against NCsoft is successful.
Worlds.com has a patent that describes virtually any 3D MMO or virtual world, and dates back to the mid-1990s. It selected NCsoft as its first target for a lawsuit, but Worlds.com chief Thom Kidrin told the Silicon Alley Insider that he would "absolutely" pursue cases against World of Warcraft and Second Life, and any MMO operator that's not prepared to pay licensing fees.
More information.
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March 12th, 2009, 22:45
From an investors point of view this must seem like a safer bet than actually making an MMO.
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March 12th, 2009, 23:05
But Al Gore invented the Internet! He should get all of the money!
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March 13th, 2009, 18:20
Sounds to me rather like a company which is willing to generate its complete income ONLY in patent fees.

To me, it is a frivolity that companies using this kind of business model actually exist.

It's nothing but greed to me.

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March 13th, 2009, 19:25
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Sounds to me rather like a company which is willing to generate its complete income ONLY in patent fees.

To me, it is a frivolity that companies using this kind of business model actually exist.

It's nothing but greed to me.
Welcome to capitalism. The patent system seems cruel, but it works and gets ideas out there in public for people to use (with an appropriate fee) - if we didn't let people create an income from patent fees then nothing would ever go public - all ideas would be locked up even more secretly than they already are.
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March 13th, 2009, 19:54
I wouldn't be at all surprised if Worlds.com didn't come out of this a whole lot richer. They never should have been granted the patent in the first place, if you ask me. If their claim is true, they were given rights to entire worlds that weren't even fully imagined, let alone created.

But all they need is a case. If there's any chance at all of winning, contingency attorneys will gladly take it. So instead of getting dragged through the courts, Blizzard and the others might save money by agreeing to settle instead.

Sounds like easy money.

Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on. But it don't snow here. It stays pretty green. I'm going to make a lot of money, then I'm going to quit this crazy scene. — [Joni Mitchell]
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March 14th, 2009, 17:31
Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
Welcome to capitalism. The patent system seems cruel, but it works and gets ideas out there in public for people to use (with an appropriate fee) - if we didn't let people create an income from patent fees then nothing would ever go public - all ideas would be locked up even more secretly than they already are.
That's quite wrong, no country, as far I know, have patent on ideas. And that's even the reverse effect you would get by patenting idea, a glue to ideas generation.
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March 14th, 2009, 18:55
Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
The patent system seems cruel, but it works
No. At the moment the patent system ruins innovation and hold mankind back.

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March 14th, 2009, 19:16
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
No. At the moment the patent system ruins innovation and hold mankind back.
Agreed. Seems to me that many patents doesn't represent real innovation, and many are too general.

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March 14th, 2009, 19:43
Originally Posted by lghartveit View Post
Agreed. Seems to me that many patents doesn't represent real innovation, and many are too general.
That's for the judge to decide.
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March 14th, 2009, 20:24
The entire idea behind patents on "business methods" is utterly flawed. It is not an idea which had gained any substantive international legitimacy. Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the EU do not recognize them. Japan has only limited recognition - and at a fundamentally higher level than American patent law purports to protect.

When a new field of patent law lacks economic rationale, logical force and moral legitimacy, it's unlikely to be respected or adopted. And business methods patents are not respected - and have been essentially rejected in all industrial nations other than the USA.

Indeed, they only work at all in any international sense because the United States is the world's largest market and so can enforce a judgment domestically by denying future access to the American market. If, say, Denmark had unilaterally came up with and tried to enforce the idea of "business methods" patents, their international trade would have been shut down shortly thereafter with a hard slap by other nations for stepping out of line.

But, it's America - so for practical reasons that do not apply to lesser countries, their judgments arising from business methods patents are practically enforceable on a domestic basis - even though virtually no other country respects these patents for foreign enforcement purposes.

The "solution" to these patents is to simply get rid of them as a failed idea that burdens business and stilfes innovation, without any of the underlying benefits that patent law is aimed to promote.

That decision requires, at a political level in Washington, to simply point the finger at somebody else and say that "they" got it wrong, and "reform" is the answer. That is already underway in Congress.

At a judicial level, the undecurrent hostile to expanded business method patent interpetation is now showing up too. In particular the Bilki case suggests that the last decade's worth of business method patents ought never to have been granted by the USPTO. Judges are not stupid - they read newspapers and the Internet too and see what lawmakers are struggling with. They are in as good a position as anybody else to recognize that an interpretation of the law by the USPTO which does not promote ecnomic growth and which brings the administration of justice into disrepute is highly undesireable. Judges, more than anyone, intensely dislike legislation and interpretations of statutes that are not fundamentally aimed at addressing an injustice. Where there is no moral outrage - injustice (which, unlike justice, is a visceral response to a given set of facts) cannot result.

Whether we get that result now - or in another decade - remains to be seen. But that's where the tracks for this train end. It's simply a question of time as to how long it will take us to get there.

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Last edited by Steel_Wind; March 14th, 2009 at 20:47.
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March 16th, 2009, 14:08
The worst thing is imho that U.S. based companies write their EULAS so as if in a non-U.S. country still U.S. law would be used.

To me, this is a subtle, very subtle trick if getting people used to that, to accomodate them to these kind of laws, so that they'll take them as "normal, because everyone uses it" in the end.

And then politicians fall for that trick and want to integrate these kind of laws in their own countries … Because "they're standard practise".

A few years ago I was quite disturbed upon reading that a few countries managed to apply even more strict copy right laws than the U.S. has ! Under the influence of U.S. companies, the aricle said …

This is … how could I call it ? I try it with "law imperialism".

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March 16th, 2009, 14:45
According to Swedish law, all EULA's that breaks Swedish rights are rendered invalid.

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March 16th, 2009, 15:20
Sounds like world.com has monopoly on mmos then, atleast in US.

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March 16th, 2009, 17:55
Capitalism isn't really the issue, it's human nature that's the issue.

The way we've chosen to implement capitalism - and I'd claim the US to be particularly affected - just has an unfortunate tendency to facilitate the greed so inherent in our nature, and as such I'm none too fond of the concept.

However, with a different mindset - capitalism is actually a pretty good notion that could work to our advantage as a race.

Incidentally, I think that's the core problem I see with liberals and their arguments pro-free market and such. It's like they don't see the flaw of the combination - human nature and the ultimate facilitator of greed: a capitalistic system.
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March 16th, 2009, 18:04
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
No. At the moment the patent system ruins innovation and hold mankind back.
Patents serve a purpose in giving time to see payback on expensive R&D. The problem here is rather the ridiculous US practice of allowing broad and vague patents, and the fact that patents often only offer as much protection as you can afford to pay your lawyer for.
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March 16th, 2009, 21:04
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
According to Swedish law, all EULA's that breaks Swedish rights are rendered invalid.
Same in Norway. And in both countries (I assume) not only for EULAs, also for other types of contracts. Whether you "accept" the contract or not doesn't matter, accepting illegal terms doesn't bind you.

But I seem to remember that an upcoming EU directive may change part of it.

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March 16th, 2009, 21:42
Originally Posted by Zaleukos View Post
Patents serve a purpose in giving time to see payback on expensive R&D. The problem here is rather the ridiculous US practice of allowing broad and vague patents, and the fact that patents often only offer as much protection as you can afford to pay your lawyer for.
Finally, some sense. Well said, Z.

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March 16th, 2009, 23:24
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
According to Swedish law, all EULA's that breaks Swedish rights are rendered invalid.
Same here.

But the texts of the EULAs are written as if this wasn't so.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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