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This litigation has been transferred to the Northern District of California (San Francisco Division). Specifically, NCSoft filed a motion in the Eastern District of Texas alleging that, other than the marketing and sales of the allegedly infringing video games, neither party had any significant connections with the district. NCSoft’s motion noted that these actions were conducted throughout the country and additionally, Worlds.com did not oppose the motion.

The case was subsequently transferred to the Northern District of California. Worlds.com, however, declined to have the case proceed before a Magistrate Judge. The case was assigned to Judge Patel, who conducted a Management Conference held on September 14, 2009. At the Conference, Judge Patel scheduled a Status Conference for March 1, 2010, and ordered the parties to file a joint status report one week before the March 2010 Conference. Judge Patel also reserved June 6, 2010, for conducting the Markman hearing. We will follow this case and provide updates as they occur.

Well, it has finally happened. Someone got so upset that they filed a class action suit against Linden Research, the owner of Second Life.

Eros, LLC filed the lawsuit. They are a business in Second Life that caters to the ... ahem... adult community. On Sep. 15, 2009, they filed a class action lawsuit alleging trademark and copyright infringement. They are trying to get some pretty big classes involved in the case. For example, the complaint requests the following classes be named:

a) The Trademark Owner Class. All individuals and entities in the United States
who own, have owned, or otherwise have the right to enforce licensing rights to
goods and services bearing trademarks or service marks registered with the
United States Patent and Trademark Office, and who engage or have engaged in
commercial transactions in Second Life associated with such registered trademark
or service marks.

b) The Trademark Infringement Class. All individuals and entities in the United
States who (1) own, have owned, or otherwise have the right to enforce licensing
rights to goods and services bearing trademarks or service marks registered with
the United States Patent and Trademark Office, (2) engage or have engaged in
commercial transactions in Second Life associated with such registered trademark
or service marks, and (3) whose trademarks and/or service marks were infringed
in Second Life.

c) The Copyright Owner Class. All individuals and entities in the United States
who own, have owned, or otherwise have the right to enforce licensing rights in
connection with a copyright registered with the U.S. Register of Copyrights and
who engage or have engaged in commercial transactions in Second Life
associated with such copyrighted works.

d) The Copyright Infringement Class. All individuals and entities in the United
States who (1) own, have owned, or otherwise have the right to enforce licensing
rights in connection with a copyright registered with the U.S. Register of
Copyrights (2) engage or have engaged in commercial transactions in Second Life
associated with such copyrighted works, and (3) whose copyrights were infringed
in Second Life.


This case will certainly be of interest to the Second Life community, as well as other virtual world providers who offer similar features. Many believe that a lawsuit of this nature was only a matter of time. It will certainly be interesting to watch and see what happens. Stay tuned...
Nothing major, but it does look like the case management conference was conducted on Sep. 14, and the claim construction hearing, i.e., Markman hearing, has been set for June 8, 2010:
Minute Entry: Initial Case Management Conference held on 9/14/2009 before Hon. Marilyn Hall Patel (Date Filed: 9/14/2009); Claims Construction Hearing reserved for 6/8/2010 09:00 AM; Further Status Conference set for 3/1/2010 03:00 PM in Courtroom 15, 18th Floor, San Francisco. (Court Reporter Christine Triska.) (awb, COURT STAFF) (Date Filed: 9/14/2009) (Entered: 09/15/2009)
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