Today in “our legal system is absurdist and utterly broken probably beyond any and all hope of repair” news, Activision-Blizzard can now officially claim victory in a patent infringement lawsuit leveraged by Massachusetts-based company Worlds Incorporated. A process that took nine years to see conclude.
The argument leveraged by Worlds Inc. was that Acti-Blizz violated five held patents for a “system and method for enabling users to interact in a virtual space,” specifically in World of Warcraft and Call of Duty. The judge hearing the case tossed it out, pointing to the fact that these patents were “abstract ideas” and not any actual technology according to the written ruling:
“Worlds’ asserted claims use a general-purpose computer to employ well known filtering or crowd control methods and means that ultimately use same to display graphical results and generate a view of the virtual world, none of which is inherently inventive or sufficient to ‘transform’ the claimed abstract idea into a patent-eligible application.”
The ruling ends a long tit-for-tat between the two companies, which saw Worlds Inc. get hit with a counter-suit by Acti-Blizz for the exact same thing; basically, it was a fight between two giant jerks and the larger jerk won. Or the smaller jerk, assuming Worlds Inc. is merely a patent troll. That played the long game. And lost.