Worlds.com CEO Thom Kidrin is putting the entire virtual worlds industry on notice: His company claims the idea of a scalable virtual world with thousands of users is its patented intellectual property, and Thom told us he intends to sue anyone who refuses to enter into licensing negotiations — including giants such as Second Life and World of Warcraft, a property of Activision Blizzard (ATVI).
Already, Korean gaming firm NCSoft, maker of City of Heroes and Guild Wars, has been sued by Worlds. (In East Texas no less, a jurisdiction infamous in intellectual property circles for plaintiff-friendly rulings in patent cases.)
Thom told us if he succeeds in his litigation, he “absolutely” intends to pursue follow-up suits against industry leaders Second Life and WoW.
That’s right: Worlds.com (or more accurately, their ambulance chasing blackmailers masquerading as lawyers) are stepping up to challenge Blizzard Legal Strike Force: OTTER. This can only end well.
Blizzard’s lawyers have no comment at this time.
Or more likely, like other patent trolls throughout history, the Worlds.com legal team’s fondest wish is to cash in on a “no, really, go away” payout that would be, for Blizzard, a rounding error. Isn’t it awesome when innovation and success has a Stupid Legal System tax? Because, clearly, it’s easier to just sue random people with blatantly frivolous shakedowns than to actually, you know, update your own website with news other than your adventures in legalistic blackmail.