Feeds

Yahoo! comes under Xfire

Gaming outfit countersues in IM patent punch-up

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

Online gaming platform and community Xfire has counterattacked in a IM patent punch-up which saw Yahoo! last month file suit against the company.

Yahoo! claims that Xfire - founded by Quake world champion Dennis "Thresh" Fong and former Direct Hit CEO Mike Cassidy - has infringed Patent No. 6,699,125, which describes technologies for a game-specific variant of Yahoo! Messenger, namely GameProwler.

The original complaint - filed in February in the US District Court (Northern District of California) describes Yahoo!'s GameProwler IM application as one that "allows users to use a game server in connection with a messenger server to permit 'buddies' to know when other 'buddies' are playing games online, and easily join such games".

Yahoo! says that Xfire offers a similar application that allows gamers to chat with each other online. The complaint reads: "Like the Yahoo! invention, this capability allows a user to see other users identified as 'friends' or 'buddies' designated on the user's computer in an instant messenger window. Also, like the Yahoo! invention, this product allows a user to see if a 'friend' or 'buddy' is online with her instant messenger program activated and also to see whether that 'friend' or 'buddy' is playing a game online... The defendant has no license or permission from Yahoo! to offer this capability."

Xfire yesterday filed a countersuit in the same US District Court, which strenuously denies any infringement of Yahoo!'s patent. It states that Yahoo!'s lawsuit is an an attempt to "drive Xfire out of business (and therefore avoid direct competition in the marketplace) or to force Xfire to sell or license its proprietary technology to Yahoo for far less than fair market value to settle the expensive litigation".

Xfire further claims that Yahoo! has refused all invitations to: "Review Xfire's code to demonstrate non-infringement of the patent"; "Conduct early mediation in which Xfire would turn over to a neutral third party its code in an effort to resolve this dispute"; or "Submit the case to binding arbitration in which Xfire would present its code to a retired judge or experienced attorney familiar with patents and technology and patent law."

Xfire is demanding "dismissal with prejudice of Yahoo's complaint, an order enjoining Yahoo's unfair business practices, and damages resulting from Yahoo's unfair business practices." ®

Related stories

FBI chides Hotmail and Yahoo! for sidestepping UK laws
Yahoo! - the thinking corporate's email solution
Yahoo! profits! triple!

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Forget silly privacy worries - help biometrics firms make MILLIONS
Beancounter reckons dabs-scanning tech is the next big moneypit
Microsoft's Office Delve wants work to be more like being on Facebook
Office Graph, social features for Office 365 going public
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.