Patent Suit Hits 24 Virtual Worlds, Video Games and Social Networking Sites

In a growing trend, another patent infringement lawsuit was recently filed against nearly two dozen companies involved in virtual worlds, video games, social networks and other websites. The plaintiff, Balthaser Online, appears to provide a web application that enables users to create Adobe Flash animations and interfaces for inclusion in websites. The patent in suit is U.S. Patent Number 7,000,180, entitled “Methods, systems and processes for the design and creation of rich-media applications via the Internet.”

In September 2009 the court split Balthaser Online Inc.’s patent infringement lawsuit against Friendster Inc., Nike Inc. and two dozen other defendants by sending more than 20 of them to a California federal court and keeping just four in the Texas federal court where the case originated. Click here for more recent developments on the procedural motions in the Balthaser Patent Infringement Case.

This and other cases evidence a growing need for virtual worlds, video games, social network companies to take proactive steps to prevent or deter patent infringement suits. Click here for a prior alert on the patent infringement case and elements of a comprehensive IP strategy to prevent or deter patent infringement suits.