“World Of Warcraft Patent Case Settles Ahead Of Texas Trial,” Law36002/22/2022 | Law360
Blizzard Entertainment said it has settled claims that popular games like World of Warcraft and Diablo infringe a Luxembourg company's patents, notifying a Texas federal court of the deal just a day before the trial was set to kick off.
The Activision Blizzard unit and AC Technologies SA and its U.S.-based arm Via Vadis LLC filed a joint notice of settlement on Monday requesting that the case be stayed until the parties file final dismissal paperwork. They did not provide any other details on the agreement.
Tuesday's trial was to be the first in two patent suits from AC Technologies and Via Vadis over their data processing technology. In January, Western District of Texas Judge Lee Yeakel rejected Blizzard's efforts to end the case, agreeing with a magistrate judge and finding that there are still several matters up for factual dispute.
The AC Technologies patent at the heart of the litigation dates to paperwork filed with the patent office in 1999. According to the suit, the patent — filed by a programmer named Thomas Binzinger — covers a type of computer protocol "that allows multiple networked users to simultaneously upload and download segments or pieces of the same file to and from each other."
AC Technologies alleges that the protocol is used in the launcher Blizzard used in some of its games, including Starcraft and Hearthstone. The company had planned to tell jurors that World of Warcraft is considered to possibly be "the most successful game ever."
Via Vadis and AC Technologies together filed lawsuits against both 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 Technologies' patents. Via Vadis LLC is the exclusive licensee of the patents.
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 case is 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.