>A patent infringement suit targeting Xbox Live that we’ve been keeping our eye on went to trial yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The suit was originally filed back in September, 2004, by two inventors claiming Xbox Live infringed two of their patents covering voice and data communications technology. This case already produced some fireworks last month, when the judge overseeing the case threatened Microsoft’s counsel with sanctions for a “frivolous objection” to a discovery request. Microsoft’s counsel had objected to a request by the plaintiffs for a document relating to a “2008 deposition” of a certain Microsoft employee, when they meant to say “2009 deposition.” The judge asserted that Microsoft’s counsel improperly used a typographical error to raise an objection on the ground of vagueness. The judge also chided Microsoft’s counsel for producing over 140,000 documents without an index, saying the action demonstrated… Continue Reading
>The PalTalk v. Microsoft case we’ve been following settled out last week in the midst of trial. Back in 2006, Paltalk sued Microsoft, alleging that communications through Xbox LIVE (either on the original Xbox or the 360) infringes two of its patents, 5,822,523 and 6,226,686. The trial began in March, and was ongoing until Microsoft and PalTalk filed a stipulation with the court saying that the claims and counterclaims between the parties should be dismissed, and that each party would cover their own costs and attorneys’ fees. Unfortunately, we won’t get any idea of who came out on top, since the terms of the settlement are confidential. But, at least we know that Xbox LIVE won’t be going offline as a result of this infringement suit.
>ADC Technology, based in Nagoya, Japan, launched a patent infringement suit in October, 2008, against Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, accusing them of infringing five ADC patents relating to interactive communication in video games. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington on Monday granted ADC’s voluntary motion to dismiss Sony, leaving only Microsoft and Nintendo as the remaining defendants. ADC alleges that the Xbox 360 video game console (with Xbox Live) violates five, and the Wii, three, of the patents at issue.ADC is asserting Patent Numbers 6,193,520, 6,488,508, 6,702,585 and 6,875,021, all titled “Interactive communication system for communicating video game and karaoke software”; and Patent Number 5,775,995 titled, “Interactive communication system for communicating video.” The patents describe a remote distribution system that allows customers to download software for use on devices and charges those players a fee for using the downloaded software. The case is still in its… Continue Reading