Virtual Worlds News: Article One Crowdsourcing Prior Art to Challenge Worlds.com
Page 1 of 1
Virtual Worlds News
January 13, 2009
Article One Crowdsourcing Prior Art to Challenge Worlds.com
Article One Partners announced today that it was soliciting help from its community members, or Advisors, to look for prior art concerning Worlds.com's patents around virtual worlds and MMOGs. Last month Worlds.com filed a complaint against NCSoft, citing infringement. The reaction from the community has been, as could be expected, largely negative with many looking for examples of prior art on their own. Article One aims to bring that community together and galvanize research with cash rewards. If an advisor's research leads Article One to conclude the patents are invalid, he or she will receive up to $50,000. Active advisors can also receive 5% of Article One's net annual profit. "Patent disputes are moving to the courtroom in record numbers, with the cost of litigation typically passed along to the public - in this case impacting those who participate in virtual worlds and online gaming, and students using the campus ID card credit systems provided by their schools," said Cheryl Milone, founder of Article One Partners. "By presenting the patented information to our community for peer review, we focus a global effort upon the core issue of validity for the patents at issue. If a comprehensive search does not uncover prior art evidence, the patent is intrinsically strengthened. If evidence is discovered and presented, the market can take action to reduce unfair monopolies and overly broad patents. In both cases, resolution can be expedited." Posted at 07:38 AM in Legal | Permalink Technorati Tags: Article One Partners, NCSoft, Patents, Virtual Worlds, Worlds.com Digg This | Save to del.icio.us TrackBack
TrackBack URL for this entry: http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341cac2153ef010536c2f425970b Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Article One Crowdsourcing Prior Art to Challenge Worlds.com:
My guess is that a BBS could be considered as a "virtual space". Many BBS's offered door games that allowed multiple people to play games together. The wildcat client allowed everyone to connect to BBS's and see graphics with many of the games provided. Even AOL had it's own client to dial in and play games in virtual spaces and talk with other people (such as Never Winter Nights) back in the early 90's. Posted by: Dedric Mauriac | January 13, 2009 at 10:42 AM For this to work, they have to challenge the essential claims of the patent. Unless they understand this completely, the crowd will not provide the prior art needed to challenge the patent claims. This isn't a torches and pitchforks kind of mob affair. Hopefully, Article One is being very specific about their requests. Posted by: len | January 14, 2009 at 08:22 AM
The comments to this entry are closed.
Worlds.com had filed a complaint against NCsoft for infringing on its patent for enabling users to interact in virtual spaces. Article One Partners have offered cash rewards to anyone who conclude the patents are invalid.
This article is a good example of how company is using crowdsourcing to solve a problem.