Some of you may not have noticed in my update to a previous post. Worlds.com has accepted the invitation to be interviewed by The MMO Experience. I'll be honest and say I was a little shocked they accepted. So during most of the day Thom Kidrin at Worlds.com and myself have been discussion several issues. While the interview isn't finished,(Thus why you're not reading it) it should be up tomorrow.
However I did ask if I could post his initial email to me stating that he wouldn't mind sitting down and chatting. I'll try to get the full transcript of our interview up on this website and NegativeGamer.com as soon as possible. So here is the email, hopefully it will appease your appetites. Also this is our 100th post! Huzzah!
Thank you for your considerate offer.
Due to the ongoing legal situation and under advisement of our lawyers I must limit my comments on this matter but am open to have a discussion with you..
I will say that there is clearly a rush to judgment and a lynch mob mindset on the blogs without any substantive analysis. Most of the comments I have received are uninformed, inaccurate and childlike in their simplicity and vulgarity.
A patent abstract is a general overview not the very specific claims granted, most postings and emails I have reviewed mischaracterize and generalize the abstract as the patent drawing the incorrect conclusion that the patent is a general catch all for virtual worlds and was applied for and granted in 2007.
The simple facts are that Worlds filed for a provisional patent on November 13, 1995 and a full submission was made on November 12, 1996.
Patent 6219045 was issued on April 17, 2001. This is a continuance patent which allows for further claims to be filed as refinements to the parent patent.
US patent office link:
Our continuance patent claims were filed on August 3, 2000 resulting in the issuance of Patent 7,181,690 on Feb 20, 2007. The cover of the patent clearly states the continuance status and relationship to Parent patent 6,219,045.
US Patent Office link:
Below are a few online posts that have a reasonable perspective on this matter:
Posted by: Tommyd | December 30, 2008 at 09:20 AM
Their claim is not a patent on MMORPGs but on a method for scaling them to handle the massive number of people using them. Let's face it, some of the early MUDs on Telnet and Compuserve were not handling nearly the kind of traffic or complexity of interaction successful modern day virtual worlds do.
If they came up with a novel way to handle that scaling, it might be worthy of a patent. Don't dismiss every patent just because it sounds silly after the news media has dumbed it down into a sound bite.
That said, I haven't read the patent or complaint. It could be completely stupid, but I'm not going to judge just based on a story.
Posted by: Hamilton | December 30, 2008 at 10:38 AM
Research revels that this company, Worlds.com, has been around for a long time (<95) and were one of the founders of multi-user graphic online domains. I couldn't find much in the way of financials but I would imagine based on my experience working in start up companies that maybe 10s of millions have been invested to develop this particular flavor of a virtual online player/browser.
If one accepts these facts, it seems a bit more valid that several (or many) of the multi-million dollar corporations profiting from client-server architecture patented more than a decade previously should be accountable. After all, Its not the case that many of these companies (ie Blizzard, Sony, Mythic) are giving their software away either.
The intricacies of the patent will be argued by very brilliant legal minds at a later date (if it goes to trial). From what I've heard from lawyers over the years regarding patent law it is one of the most complex and challenging divisions of law. IMHO, this particular case doesn't seem to be the proverbial "Patent Troll" as the company has been around forever.
Posted by: Hamilton | December 30, 2008 at 04:27 PM
With all due respect, citing prior art is not sufficient to dispute the nuances of a software patent of this type. In fact, my observations were mainly directed towards the apparent emotional uproar this thread contains as opposed to any debate over the legalese which would quickly reveal my ignorance in such matters.
I am certainly not an evangelist for corporate power brokers but my interpretation (after digging around a bit) yielded a rather polar conclusion to some of the more 'flamey' posts in that:
1. Worlds seems to be a pioneer in the industry.
2. They have been in this for the long haul.
3. They are a small company seeking their due from the titans in the industry.
I trust this covers a portion of what you are interested in my clarifying.
Let me know what time and date you would like to schedule a call and I will get back to you to confirm.
- ▼ 2009 (50)