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Well it looks like Worlds, Inc. is at it again, and today filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard for patent infringement. Very few details right now, except that case was filed in District of Massachusetts and is court docket number 1:12-cv-10576. Will post more details when we know them. I suspect its based on the same patents that were asserted against NCSoft, but time will tell.

Update:
Ok, the patents at issue are:
8,082,501
7,945,856
7,493,558
7,181,690

The '501 patent just issued on December 20, 2011, and claim 1 reads:
1. A method for enabling a first user to interact with other users in a virtual space, each user of the first user and the other users being associated with a three dimensional avatar representing said each user in the virtual space, the method comprising the steps of:
customizing, using a processor of a client device, an avatar in response to input by the first user;
receiving, by the client device, position information associated with fewer than all of the other user avatars in an interaction room of the virtual space, from a server process, wherein the client device does not receive position information of at least some avatars that fail to satisfy a participant condition imposed on avatars displayable on a client device display of the client device;
determining, by the client device, a displayable set of the other user avatars associated with the client device display; and
displaying, on the client device display, the displayable set of the other user avatars associated with the client device display.


Similar to its other patents, the '501 patent recites a limitation regarding receiving position information from less than all the other avatars in the same virtual space ("receiving, by the client device, position information associated with fewer than all of the other user avatars in an interaction room of the virtual space").

We'll watch this case and keep you posted.
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Ross Dannenberg

Scott Kelly

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