A company going by the name of Worlds Inc. has filed a lawsuit against Activision, claiming that a number of the publisher's online games violate a patent relating to large-scale virtual worlds.
Worlds Inc. claims that both World of Warcraft
and the Call of Duty
franchise have violated one of its patents that covers a "system and method for enabling users to interact in a virtual space."
Worlds Inc. said that its patent extends to MMOs and online games, and in 2008 the company filed a similar
lawsuit against NCSoft on the grounds that City of Heroes
violated this very same patent. That case was dismissed in 2010
after the companies reached an undisclosed settlement.
"Technologies created by Worlds have helped the businesses of virtual worlds gaming and the sale of virtual goods to grow into a multi-billion dollar industry," said Worlds Inc. CEO Thom Kidrin.
"While we are pleased to see that the gaming industry and its rapidly growing customer base have enthusiastically embraced our patented technologies, we deserve fair compensation for their use."
Gamasutra has contacted both Activision and Worlds Inc. for further comment, but has yet to hear back as of press time.