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the patent system is so broken.. you get 12 hours to determine if an idea is patentable and the patent lasts 20 years. 12 hours to understand the idea, search it and then argue against the attorneys
 
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this patient could be huge and doesn't only affect MMO.. on business level, there are virtual meetings, where it is all users can view the same virtual enviroment at the same time..
 
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StumpyStumped,
i think patents have very little effect on the US military or government.

I think the US government has paid people to open US mail looking for patents to steal to help the war efforts (I think it was during WW1 and or WW2)
 

Neog2

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Duke Nukem 3D would be affected under this broad patent lol.
Duke Nukem 3D came out in January 29, 1996 and although it didnt have a matchmaking
system I did allow everyone to see everything at the same time.

I feel in order to patent this broad ideas you should have an working prototype within 3 years from patent published date. And there should be like a maintaining
mandate or something.

Or ownership of patents shouldn't allow transfer. If your company goes
under your patent rights should as well.

Something is better than what we got now.
This has got to stop. The system needs to be refined and streamlined.
 

realheadcrusher

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"sharing data across a network of computers so that all users can view the same virtual environment in real time"

The funny thing is that Internet is NOT REALTIME!
 

martel80

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What about outsourcing the game servers/service to countries/companies not covered by US law and only collecting revenue from these spin-offs?
 

zak_mckraken

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I will patent "Patent Trolling" as "A mean to get quick and easy money from individuals, companies and corporations who have better ideas and more success than I do". I'll get rich by leeching off the leechers. I feel like Robin Hood!
 

bydesign

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Here is my take unless it's a direct copy of code it's not an infringement. There are very few original ideas and if one builds off someone idea it becomes a new invention. Concepts shouldn't be patent material in my opinion. I agree with others though the world patent system need to be updated for digital age.
 
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To most of the previous commenters, you are a bunch of ingnorant crybabies who know nothing about the patent system. I am certain that if you were the owner of this patent you would be attempting to enforce your patent without hestation.
 

Supertrek32

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I'm gonna patent tera-forming and have all my grandchildren renew it. Then 8000 years from now when we colonize Mars, they'll be retardedly rich (after all, making a planet livable would mean quite a bit of profit).

Our patent system is so messed up. There should, at the very least, be a limit to how long you have after the original infringement to file a complaint. No more waiting 7 years for them to make money so you can get rich quick.
 

kentlowt

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[citation][nom]RicardoK[/nom]Here we go again.. Let's all cry out loud: The US patent system is clearly broken![/citation]
Although the patent system needs some fixing. What is broken here is a court system that alows such frivilous suits to happen in the first place.
 

geoffs

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1. You can't patent an idea/concept, you can only patent an method/mechanism.

2. Just because someone accomplishes the same result does not imply they used the same method/mechanism.

Therefore, just because "...cover technologies for sharing data across a network of computers so that all users can view the same virtual environment in real time. Obviously games such as EverQuest, World of Warcraft, Guild Wars and other MMORPGs feature this type of gameplay...", does NOT mean that they use the same method/mechanism or that they violate the patent. While it's possible that they use the same method/mechanism, it's far from certain, and unless they all had some common origin (e.g. studied how it was done in a system that does use the patent or read the patent), it's statistically unlikely that they all chose the exact same method/mechanism that was patented.

On to bigger questions. Is the method/mechanism described in the patent significantly different than the methods/mechanisms that have been used to present consistent and current information to multiple users in multi-user systems for the past 30 years? If not, the patent should be thrown out. If they simply applied existing synchronization techniques to MMOs, then there is no valid basis for a patent. Again, you can't patent an idea/concept, only the method/mechanism, which means you can't patent applying an existing method/mechanism for a specific use. If the method/mechanism already existed, prior art (even from a completely different field) should exclude the patent.
 

waikano

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If anyone has any patent rights it would be EA who owns UO (albeit they bought the original MMO from Origin Systems) UO came out on 1997 not 2002. Somehow this seems illogical, but most of these cases are.
 

geoffs

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[citation][nom]kentlowt[/nom]Although the patent system needs some fixing. What is broken here is a court system that alows such frivilous suits to happen in the first place.[/citation]The US patent system needs a lot of fixing, but it doesn't appear to be a design flaw so much as an implementation flaw.

However, you point about the legal system being a big part of the problem is right on target. With major criminal cases, we have the Grand Jury acting as guardians/gatekeepers. The prosecutors must convince the Grand Jury that there is sufficient evidence to charge a suspect before they will issue an indictment. However, with civil cases, we have no such gatekeeper, virtually anyone can file a civil case against another "person" (which includes corporations) for any perceived grievance. The judge does act as a type of gatekeeper in the discovery phase and preliminary hearings and can dismiss the case if there is no evidence to support the claim, but even the discovery and preliminary hearings can be expensive and time consuming. The plaintiff should have to show evidence of substantial harm, or at least show that it's likely that the discovery phase may produce evidence of substantial harm, before the suit is allowed to proceed.

The "show that it's likely ..." clause can be a slippery slope, it should not be used to allow "fishing expeditions", but the defendants shouldn't be automatically protected just because they've managed to keep the evidence out of the hands of the plaintiffs.

Who should be the gatekeepers? A judge? The plaintiff's lawyers? A jury? Any could work, but I suspect that if the plaintiff's lawyers could be, and in fact were, held accountable for the filing costs and reasonable defense costs in the event that the judge dismissed a case (for lack of evidence of harm, lack of standing, etc.), then the lawyers could consider the merits of cases more carefully before filing them. More cases would probably be resolved in arbitration if there were a higher "bar" to filing a civil suit. I suspect that would be the most cost effective way to put some control back in the system. Some lawyers would object to that system, but most of the ones I know would actually support and welcome such a system.
 

geoffs

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I propose we stop using the term "patent trolls" and instead use "patent terrorists". Likewise, for all the nuisance lawsuits, we can call the plaintiff's and their lawyers "lawsuit terrorists". Seems more appropriate to me.
 

n3ard3ath

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I try to stay objective, but my mind tells me good for them. Every game company going into the MMO path is a crook in a way. My mind just tells me let's sue the hell out of them until they don't exist anymore, but there's no chance that gonna happen.
 

caskachan

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[citation][nom]jazzmain[/nom]damn, maybe I should see about buying some patents so I can become rich. Forget the lottery, patents are the new wave for free cash.[/citation]
Yes but then you will get sued, by whomever sold you the patent, becuase you are making money out of it XD
 

noob2222

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If something like this actually succeeds, we will see a whole new era of patent lawsuits. "I have a patent on a first person shooter so all first person shooters violated my patent." Same goes for any genre of game ever published.

It boils down to this, all patents regarding how something is done, must be accompanied by the code used to acchieve this, you patent the code, not a generalized idea that can cover anything on earth.

The Judicial system is the thing that needs to be kicked in the balls, and not allowing stupid ideas like this to exist.

Put yourself in the programmer's seat, you program a game, are you going to go down to the patent office and read every single patent regarding what might be considered infringement? well, if you did, you wouldn't even get the first line of code done before you died of old age trying to research all patents in existence.
 

noob2222

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p.s., when you go this far, you stop the patent infringements and start treading on the more illegal aspects, MONOPOLIZATION.

I think I will sue this guy if he wins for controlling a monopoly.
 
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