The latest trend as of late seems to be suing other companies--especially high-profile corporations such as Apple and Microsoft--for alleged patent infringement. In the gaming arena, Bethesda is currently threatening to sue Interplay for such a violation, and now a Jericho, New York company is suing Turbine, Sony, Activision Blizzard, NCSoft, and Jagex, trying to attempt a lawsuit against the MMORPG developers as well.
Paltalk Holdings Inc. filed its lawsuit in the infamous US district Court in Marshall, Texas, home of the patent lawsuit frenzy. According to the company, it purchased two patents from HearMe back in 2002 to 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, and Paltalk claims that these games violate the patents it purchased.
The Boston Globe is reporting that Paltalk already defended these patents against Microsoft, claiming that the multiplayer features of the Halo franchise violated the patents. Microsoft eventually chickened out and settled with the company out of court by paying an undisclosed wad of cash to license the Paltalk patents. At the time of this writing, Turbine, Sony and the other developers have not commented on the lawsuit, however it's believed that PalTalk may have the upper hand thanks to Microsoft caving in and a plaintiff-friendly courtroom.