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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.
In a case reminiscent of Incredible Technologies v. Virtual Technologies, and one that is sure to provide some much needed guidance (if it goes the distance) regarding when copying someone else's game has gone too far, Spry Fox has sued LolApps/6Waves for copyright infringement and false designation of origin (fancy terminology for saying they stole their identity). Spry Fox makes the popular game Triple Town. After negotiations with LolApps/6Waves fell through to publish Triple Town on Face book, the defendants launched their own game, Yeti Town, bearing striking similarity to Spry Fox's Triple Town. The game play is virtually identical, just with a new skin (i.e., new artwork and graphics). However, much of the text appears to have been copied, as well as what are arguably arbitrary assignments of point values for in-game actions. So there may be some meat here.

In an interesting twist that is sure to come back to haunt him if/when he is deposed, 6Waves Executive Director of Business Development sent a Facebook message to Spry Fox the day that Yeti Town launched, saying "I have some news, which I'm not excited to share with you. I need to back out of any further discussions on Triple Town. We've just published a game on iOS that you're not going to like given its similar match-3 style. Wish this wasn't happening, but it is, and there wasn't anything I could do about it, despite my attempts. I respect you and your studio immensely, and wish you guys nothing but the best. And hope you can get Playdom to give you everything you want and more for TT on FB."

Here are some representative images comparing the two games:
The legal Complaint makes for some interesting reading, and can be downloaded here.

The case is 2:12-cv-00147-RAJ filed January 26, 2012, in the Western District of Washington (Seattle). We will follow the case and let you know of any significant developments.
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