what do you get when you put together
A broken patent system
B patent trolls who patent ideas for trolling
A + B ==== C?
i say hell for innovation. Im going to patent the wheel. Oh no somebody already patented a circular travel device which touches the road... I guess ill just patent a elliptical one, prove that all circles are elipse but not all ellipse are circle and sue the circle patent holder....
(sorry for double post, we need a delete or edit feature) America is a democracy, and all i see on the comments on stories like this is "its broken" lets stop whining about it and write some people in Washington, and that one judge. couldn't hurt.
There have been synced virtual worlds before everquest as well. Meridian 59 was 1995, the realm was arround 97 ish, i know there are others, likely going back to early 90s. If you dont count graphical mmos, then there have been synced worlds in text form for longer then taht.
These companies buy patents like this then sit back and potential infringements accrue and then after enough have built up, they pounce. I think there should be a statute of limitations of say 5 years after which if you did not catch it and sue, you are out of luck.
"The PalTalk complaint summarizes two former HearMe patents: one, filed in 1998, covers a group messaging server that organizes group lists of players. The second patent covers software that aggregates messages from members of a group to more efficiently maintain consistent communication between host computers, according to the complaint."