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Patents The Courts Games

RuneScape Developer Victorious Over Patent Troll 89

An anonymous reader writes "Gamasutra reports that a US District Court judge has dismissed the patent infringement lawsuit brought against RuneScape developer Jagex discussed previously on Slashdot. Judge David Folsom last week dismissed online chat company Paltalk's claims that Jagex infringed on Paltalk patents relating to online network communications. The judge's ruling only resolved Jagex's case. Microsoft settled with Paltalk for an undisclosed sum in 2009 after the online communication technology company sued over the patents in a $90 million claim. That settlement opened the door to Paltalk's claims against other game companies, including Blizzard, Turbine, SOE and NCSoft. Paltalk alleged in the Jagex-related suit that it had suffered 'tens of millions of dollars' in damages. Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard said in a statement, 'It is exceedingly unfortunate that the US legal system can force a company with a sole presence in Cambridge, UK to incur a seven-digit expense and waste over a year of management time on a case with absolutely no merit,' and that Jagex 'will not hesitate to vigorously defend our position against any patent trolls who bring lawsuits against us in the future.'"
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RuneScape Developer Victorious Over Patent Troll

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  • by GF678 ( 1453005 ) on Friday November 19, 2010 @05:44AM (#34279568)

    We needed confirmation that MS are scum?

    Actually we do. Microsoft has somehow managed to convince quite a lot of people that they are different to the old scummy Microsoft of the 90s. People need to be reminded of the fact they're not, they just hide it well.

  • by arivanov ( 12034 ) on Friday November 19, 2010 @06:57AM (#34279884) Homepage

    Unfortunately, most registrar's are USA based.

    So if a UK company sued in a USA court does a no-show, the troll wins by default. They can then get a court order and have the company USA assets which includes their domain transferred to them. This may include even a co.uk domain as long as it has been registered through Verisign or any of the other USA based registrars. If that is not enough they may get court orders and force any USA ISP to filter out (or deny routing) to any of the UK company servers and thus cut off any USA traffic.

    So in cases like this there are 3 options:

    1. Shut off any USA business you may have completely. That is what non-Internet companies like for example diagnostics and pharmaceutical companies making generics do. In the Internet case this is rather difficult.

    2. Pay up.

    3. Fight it on the troll's home turf

    This happens both ways by the way though the usual weapon in UK courts is not patents - it is libel and copyright. As a result a lot of USA Internet companies now filter out UK blocks altogether to minimise their libel exposure.

"Let every man teach his son, teach his daughter, that labor is honorable." -- Robert G. Ingersoll