Sorry for the delay on this, but on March 23, 2009, Worlds Inc. amended its complaint in the lawsuit against NCSoft to assert a second patent. The lawsuit now involves both of the following patents: Patent 7,181,690, Patent 7,493,558. The latter patent’s claims do not appear as broad as the earlier patent’s claims, which means that it will likely be more difficult to prove infringement, but also makes it generally more difficult to assert that the latter patent is invalid (because there are more elements in each claim that must be shown to be in the prior art).
For example, claim 6 of the ‘558 patent reads:
6. A computer readable medium with a software program recorded therein, the software program being for enabling a plurality of users to interact in a virtual space, wherein each user has a computer associated therewith, wherein each computer has a client process associated therewith, wherein each client process has an avatar associated therewith, and wherein each client process is in communication with a server process, wherein the software program includes instructions for: (a) monitoring, by each client process, a position of the avatar associated with the client process; (b) transmitting, by each client process to the server process, the position of the avatar associated with the client process; (c) transmitting, by the server process to each client process, the positions of less than all of the avatars that are not associated with the client process; and (d) determining from the positions transmitted in step (c), by each client process, a set of the avatars that are to be displayed.
Whereas claim 1 of the ‘690 patent reads:
1. A method for enabling a first user to interact with other users in a virtual space, wherein the first user and the other users each have an avatar and a client process associated therewith, and wherein each client process is in communication with a server process, wherein the method comprises: (a) receiving a position of less than all of the other users’ avatars from the server process; and (b) determining, from the received positions, a set of the other users’ avatars that are to be displayed to the first user, wherein steps (a) and (b) are performed by the client process associated with the first user.