Earlier this week we reported that Worlds.com, one of the early developers in the virtual worlds industry, had filed suit against NCsoft for patent violation. Worlds.com alleges that NCsoft is infringing on patent 7,181,690, "System and Method for Enabling Users to Interact in a Virtual Space," which governs a system of architecture for 3D virtual worlds and MMOGs and what is displayed at any given time. If the suit and patent are upheld, it could put many other companies at risk of litigation as well. An NCsoft representative told the Korea Times that the company hadn't received court papers yet or analyzed the patent. It appears the company is preparing, though.

"We can't comment on potential litigation except to say that NCsoft takes all legal action seriously — even if the company believes a lawsuit has no merit," a representative told me via email. "We intend to defend ourselves vigorously."

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20 Responses to NCsoft to Defend Itself Vigorously Against Worlds.com

  1. Pete S says:

    It’d be nice to see some of the other big MMO publishers jumping in to help support NCSoft against these patent trolls.

  2. Dan Johnson says:

    I have to believe that all the VRML work that was done in the past establishes prior art that can be used to defend against this patent. You can bet that IBM and Sun will have their lawyers all over this too….

  3. Dan Johnson says:

    I have to believe that all the VRML work that was done in the past establishes prior art that can be used to defend against this patent. You can bet that IBM and Sun will have their lawyers all over this too….

  4. chris says:

    You can believe all you want… and you can call them as many names as you want…
    But the work worlds.com did in 94 predates almost all networked 3d web based projects.
    They were “pioneers” at the then 1994 company, not a blog induced, conference press release driven joke of an industry, which vr worlds has been since the SL hype of 2006.
    You all kinda now get what you deserve. Although the pantent IS too broad and there was enough prior art and other 3d networked systems available in 1994 -1995.
    Now that autodesk is entering the fray the game will be over…Soon a defacto 3d engine
    format will be in place.
    Worlds wasnt
    alone then.

  5. chris says:

    You can believe all you want… and you can call them as many names as you want…
    But the work worlds.com did in 94 predates almost all networked 3d web based projects.
    They were “pioneers” at the then 1994 company, not a blog induced, conference press release driven joke of an industry, which vr worlds has been since the SL hype of 2006.
    You all kinda now get what you deserve. Although the pantent IS too broad and there was enough prior art and other 3d networked systems available in 1994 -1995.
    Now that autodesk is entering the fray the game will be over…Soon a defacto 3d engine
    format will be in place.
    Worlds wasnt
    alone then.

  6. len says:

    I’m not sure the VRML work protects anyone with any prior art to 1994 particularly server side.
    I’m afraid this is where the exposure of the virtual worlds and real-time 3D server side systems finally take the bullet for not taking unencumbered IP standards seriously early.
    Lawyers and investors delight. Customers take losses.
    Dumb.

  7. len says:

    I’m not sure the VRML work protects anyone with any prior art to 1994 particularly server side.
    I’m afraid this is where the exposure of the virtual worlds and real-time 3D server side systems finally take the bullet for not taking unencumbered IP standards seriously early.
    Lawyers and investors delight. Customers take losses.
    Dumb.

  8. @ Chris:
    QUOTE:”Although the pantent IS too broad and there was enough prior art and other 3d networked systems available in 1994 -1995.”
    I dont get you. FIRST you say that worlds.com will will win, then you say above that there’s prior art that also exists at the time when they “thought up” the idea, and then you say that “Autodesk is entering the fray, the game will be over” as if to say that they will step in and somehow legitimacy to this suit….
    That Arguement is no different then the one SCO tried to use against every *.nix distributor and look where it got them….

  9. @ Chris:
    QUOTE:”Although the pantent IS too broad and there was enough prior art and other 3d networked systems available in 1994 -1995.”
    I dont get you. FIRST you say that worlds.com will will win, then you say above that there’s prior art that also exists at the time when they “thought up” the idea, and then you say that “Autodesk is entering the fray, the game will be over” as if to say that they will step in and somehow legitimacy to this suit….
    That Arguement is no different then the one SCO tried to use against every *.nix distributor and look where it got them….

  10. chris says:

    I didnt say any of that.I didnt say Worlds would win, only that I thought he patent was too broad and that there were similar concepts and projects being done in 1994-5 that would, if looked for reveal prior art that could limit the patents claims of non obvious and unique invention.
    Autodesk today has a defacto monopoly on 3d professional visualization tools and formats, and are only now publically showing some of the plans.
    I said nothing about Autodesk in relation to the lawsuit. I stated that the
    “vr worlds game” as and “industry defined by this blog” and the types who pundit on it, will most likely be much more about what Autodesk decides to do, and when, then by any of the funny web2.0 named startups that claim – web3d leadership – at these conferences and blog after blog.
    czd

  11. chris says:

    I didnt say any of that.I didnt say Worlds would win, only that I thought he patent was too broad and that there were similar concepts and projects being done in 1994-5 that would, if looked for reveal prior art that could limit the patents claims of non obvious and unique invention.
    Autodesk today has a defacto monopoly on 3d professional visualization tools and formats, and are only now publically showing some of the plans.
    I said nothing about Autodesk in relation to the lawsuit. I stated that the
    “vr worlds game” as and “industry defined by this blog” and the types who pundit on it, will most likely be much more about what Autodesk decides to do, and when, then by any of the funny web2.0 named startups that claim – web3d leadership – at these conferences and blog after blog.
    czd

  12. Jake the Snake says:

    Chris, you’re dumb. When this is all over and you turn out to be wrong, I want to know that somewhere out there, I’m laughing – at you. Specifically.
    Look here:
    Video Game Industry – Recently proven by a study in 2008 to be one of the very few recession proof industries in the United States.
    NCSoft – An MMO giant (not the biggest, but if Worlds.com really did peg them as the weakest of the herd, they are sorely mistaken) with more lawyers than the bristles on Worlds.com CEO’s fat, sweaty face.
    Worlds.com – A pathetic joke of a company responsible for such virtual tragedies as “Aerosmith World.” How bad does your service really have to be to make SECOND LIFE look good? I mean, jeezus. If Lionel Hutz from the Simpsons started his own software company, Worlds.com would be the result.
    And because I detect the slightest hint of self-righteousness in your post, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say you somehow sympathize with these dirt bags. Maybe it’s because you play the game, maybe it’s because you work for them, or maybe you’re just a communist troll who wants all video games to march under a red flag in Lenin Square World. Whatever the case, it’s delicious.
    I think you think that Worlds.com actually *deserves* to win this case, which is hilarious.
    So let’s put your argument into perspective. A thousand people discover the recipe to cup cakes, and all open their own cup cake shops. Some of them make great cup cakes, some of them make crappy cup cakes – whatever. Then, ten years down the line, someone decides to get involved in this whole ‘cup cake’ enterprise, starts making the most god awful cupcakes known to man – and THEN patents the recipe, claiming to have pioneered it. Does that person deserve to have a monopoly on cupcakes? No.
    The fact of the matter is the cream rises to the top. And in this particular case it just happens to be a big deal; the economy is tanking, people are losing their jobs, and the only industry that’s standing strong at all is entertainment – you think when this goes to a federal appeals process that they’re going to sympathize with some sweaty asshole that wants to rule the entertainment world with a piece of paper it took him 7 years to find someone at the patent office who was retarded enough to approve?
    Forget it. Much stronger companies have filed much stronger claims and lost big. These jerkwads are gonna get exactly what they deserve. Maybe not from the honorable judge Yosemite Sam down in Texas who hates ‘dem damn ferners’, but as soon as the ball is out of his court and into the federal appeals process – it’s over. Worlds.com loses.

  13. Bea says:

    What I don’t understand is why so many of you are angry at worlds.com for defending their patent which was originally filed in the early 1990′s?
    he has a right to defend his patent. If you were in his position, you would do the same. He’s not out to destroy anyone’s business. But at the same time, he must also protect his rights too.
    So try to look at things from a prospective viewpoint please. Thanks.

  14. Bea says:

    What I don’t understand is why so many of you are angry at worlds.com for defending their patent which was originally filed in the early 1990′s?
    he has a right to defend his patent. If you were in his position, you would do the same. He’s not out to destroy anyone’s business. But at the same time, he must also protect his rights too.
    So try to look at things from a prospective viewpoint please. Thanks.

  15. chris says:

    wow.
    I’m the one who’s “dumb”?
    Any reader of your post can clearly see your immaturity and truly overpowering ignorance on so many things
    Besides, I’m not the one who chose to name myself after an 80′s wrestler and defend my intelligence with a “cupcake” analogy.
    Finish puberty, then join the grown ups in the discussion.
    cdz

  16. chris says:

    wow.
    I’m the one who’s “dumb”?
    Any reader of your post can clearly see your immaturity and truly overpowering ignorance on so many things
    Besides, I’m not the one who chose to name myself after an 80′s wrestler and defend my intelligence with a “cupcake” analogy.
    Finish puberty, then join the grown ups in the discussion.
    cdz

  17. Alicendre says:

    Except that Worlds didn’t invent anything. Even if it was somehow successful back in the days, there were 3D online games before 2000, that lawsuit is bullshit.
    I could as well make my company, create a survival horror game and then go “boo you copied me !” to anyone who did after me.

  18. Alicendre says:

    Except that Worlds didn’t invent anything. Even if it was somehow successful back in the days, there were 3D online games before 2000, that lawsuit is bullshit.
    I could as well make my company, create a survival horror game and then go “boo you copied me !” to anyone who did after me.

  19. Raien says:

    The patent was not issued in the early 90′s, they didnt attempt to file for the first patent untill 1997-1998, and it wasnt approved untill finally mid to late 2001. And the patent there actually sueing over, is their 2007 patent, and they just redid the original 2001 patent to make it even broader and absurd in march 2009.
    basicaly, they patented something they did no invent after it was already out, then turn around and try to sue the people who really did start the whole genre. and yes, IRC was around as early as the 80s, and other forms of online communication were out before 1997 when they filed for the patent, let alone how many were out by the time the patent got through in 2001.
    BTW, NCsofts first game lineage, came out in 1998, long before the patent got through.

  20. Raien says:

    The patent was not issued in the early 90′s, they didnt attempt to file for the first patent untill 1997-1998, and it wasnt approved untill finally mid to late 2001. And the patent there actually sueing over, is their 2007 patent, and they just redid the original 2001 patent to make it even broader and absurd in march 2009.
    basicaly, they patented something they did no invent after it was already out, then turn around and try to sue the people who really did start the whole genre. and yes, IRC was around as early as the 80s, and other forms of online communication were out before 1997 when they filed for the patent, let alone how many were out by the time the patent got through in 2001.
    BTW, NCsofts first game lineage, came out in 1998, long before the patent got through.