“Blizzard Can’t Beat Networking Patent Infringement Suit,” Law36001/19/2022 | Law360
A Texas federal judge denied a summary judgment bid from incoming Microsoft subsidiary Blizzard Entertainment Inc. on Wednesday, rejecting its attempt to escape a suit accusing it of infringing a networking patent.
U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel adopted a magistrate judge's December recommendation to deny Blizzard's attempt to beat the suit from Via Vadis LLC and AC Technologies SA, and to deny most of the plaintiffs' bid for summary judgment, as well.
Judge Yeakel did grant Via Vadis and AC Technologies summary judgment on one issue — finding as a matter of law that a particular asserted claim within the patent in question is definite rather than indefinite, as Activision Blizzard has asserted.
On Dec. 26, U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan Hightower found that there were still numerous matters, broached by both sides, that are up for factual dispute. On Wednesday, Judge Yeakel agreed with her findings.
On Tuesday, Judge Hightower issued a similar report and recommendation in a related suit over the same patent that Via Vadis and AC Technologies filed against Amazon.com Inc. In that recommendation, which has yet to be adopted, Judge Hightower found that the same claim in question is definite.
Via Vadis and AC Tech together filed separate lawsuits against Amazon and Blizzard in 2014, targeting Amazon's cloud services and Blizzard's online gaming platform, and seeking court orders for monetary damages and to prevent further infringement. The suit against Amazon claims the company's use of the BitTorrent peer-to-peer file-sharing protocol in its Elastic Compute Cloud and S3 web services violates AC Tech's patents. Via Vadis LLC is the exclusive licensee of the patents.
The lawsuit against Blizzard targets the company's Battle.net service, the platform for several popular online games including StarCraft, World of Warcraft and digital card game Hearthstone.
The patent-in-suit is U.S. Patent No. RE40,521.
AC Technologies and Via Vadis are represented by Andrew G. DiNovo, Gabriel R. Gervey, Adam G. Price, Daniel L. Schmid and Gregory S. Donahue of DiNovo Price LLP.
The cases are Via Vadis LLC et al. v. Amazon.com Inc., case number 1:14-cv-00813, and Via Vadis LLC et al. v. Blizzard Entertainment Inc., case number 1:14-cv-00810, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.
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DiNovo Price LLP is an Austin-based law firm that handles patent and antitrust litigation nationwide. DiNovo Price represents inventors, public corporations, privately-held businesses, and consumers, both individually and in class actions.