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Nine Years Later, Activision Blizzard Has Won Patent Lawsuit

Joseph Bradford Posted:
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A lawsuit filed by Worlds Incorporated has been thrown out by a US Disctrict Court Judge after nine years of legal proceedings. The lawsuit claimed that Activision Blizzard engaged in copyright infringement on five of Worlds Incorporated's patents.

According to GamesIndustry.biz (via PCGamesN), Worlds was suing Activision Blizzard in a lawsuit first filed in 2012, claiming that the World of Warcraft developer was infringing upon patents for "a system and method for enabling users to interact in a virtual space." Worlds asserted that this system was being used in games such as World of Warcraft and even Destiny in a separate suit against Bungie, which at the time was being published with Activision. 

However, Us Disctrict Judge Denise J Casper stated in the court's ruling that the patents in question were "abstract ideas" according to the court, and therefore were unable to be a "patent-eligible application."

"Client-server networks, virtual worlds, avatars, or position and orientation information are not inventions of Worlds but rather, their patents seek to demonstrate their use in a technological environment," Casper states in the ruling, per GamesIndustry.biz. Casper continued, explaining the reasoning behind ruling in favor of Activision Blizzard.

"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."

As such the court ruled in favor of Activision Blizzard, which filed its own counter-suit alleging the very same thing against Worlds during the proceedings. 

Activision Blizzard recently had their Q1 earnings call, which saw Activision ride high on the success of Call of Duty Warzone and Black Ops Cold War, and while Blizzard saw revenues increase by 7% YOY, it was noted that their overall playerbase had dipped since 2018.


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Joseph Bradford

Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he's not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don't get him started on why Balrogs *don't* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore