Wednesday, September 16, 2009

World of Warcraft's Toughest Battleground -- Marshall Texas?

When it purchased two patents covering data-sharing technology in 2002, PalTalk probably didn't think that it would bring the warriors from Halo to their knees and take on everyone from orcs and wizards to WWII snipers. But that is exactly what is happening in Marshall, Texas.

Paltalk owns patents which, it claims, cover the technology which enables players in massive online games to all see the same environment at the same time -- critical to the user's enjoyment of the battle experience and essential for many of the games, like World of Warcraft and Call of Duty where online players fight in teams.

In 2006, Paltalk decided to take on the biggest of the big boys -- Microsoft -- for its XBox Halo games. After a three year struggle, Microsoft settled mid-trial and took a license to the patents -- giving PalTalk virtually unlimited health points and all the weapons and spells it could possibly use to take on the rest of the online gaming industry.

Now Paltalk has sued virtually everyone else in the marketplace -- from Activision's Call of Duty to Blizzard's World of Warcraft -- on the same patents, hoping that these grizzled fighters will see that PalTalk's got the big stick.

With the smash release of the Beatles version of Rock Band, can the assault on Ringo be far behind?

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