Feeds

Yahoo! comes under Xfire

Gaming outfit countersues in IM patent punch-up

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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!

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.