Feeds

Palm faces WLAN gaming patent infringement suit

Multi-player gaming via wireless 'invented' in 1995, apparently

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Palm has been hit with a law suit claiming that the ability of its PDAs to network wirelessly with other such devices on an ad hoc basis, in turn allowing users to compete in multi-player games, infringes the intellectual property of one Peer-to-Peer Systems.

Peer-to-Peer Systems maintains a US patent, number 5,618,045, filed in February 1995 by two Jerusalem residents, Michael Kagan and Ian Solomon. The patent was granted in April 1997.

Here's the patent's abstract:

An interactive multiple player game system including at least two playing devices communicating over an ad-hoc, wireless, all-to-all broadcast network. A playing device includes a processor for running a game scenario common to all of the playing devices within the network, a player controlled interface for enabling a player action within the game scenario, a transmitter for transmitting the player action over the network, a receiver for receiving player actions from other playing devices transmitting over the network, and a display for displaying at least a portion of the game scenario. The interactive multiple player game system can further include a play station device and an interface apparatus for. interfacing between the play station device and the playing devices.

In short, it's about as general as they come: connect any two devices over a wireless LAN and play a multi-player game with them and you're violating the patent. At least, if you make such devices you are, it seems.

So watch out all you mobile phone makers, all you console vendors, all you PC producers. Indeed, Peer-to-Peer is currently engaged in litigation to enforce the same patent against Cybiko, Inc., a maker of hand-held game computers for teenagers.

Since wireless gaming follows directly from wired gaming - the only difference is the transport mechanism - can this really be described as an invention? Clearly the US Patent Office believes it can.

Tellingly 5,618,045, doesn't cite the original network multi-player gaming patent, 4,572,509, David Sitrick's 1986 "video game network" patent.

Patent number 5,618,045 details a 'preferred embodiment', but adds: "While the invention has been described with respect to a limited number of embodiments, it will be appreciated that many variations, modifications and other applications of the invention may be made." That allows them to complain about pretty much anyone who offers a system capable of running wireless multi-player games. ®

Related Links

Patent: Interactive multiple player game system and method of playing a game between at least two players (Kagan et al)
Patent: Video game network (Sitrick)

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
PwC says US biz lagging in Internet of Things
Grass is greener in Asia, say the sensors
Ofcom sees RISE OF THE MACHINE-to-machine cell comms
Study spots 9% growth in IoT m2m mobile data connections
O2 vs Vodafone: Mobe firms grab for GCHQ, gov.uk security badge
No, the spooks love US best, say rival firms
Ancient pager tech SMS: It works, it's fab, but wow, get a load of that incoming SPAM
Networks' main issue: they don't know how it works, says expert
Trans-Pacific: Google spaffs cash on FAST undersea packet-flinging
One of 6 backers for new 60 Tbps cable to hook US to Japan
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.