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RuneScape Developer Victorious Over Patent Troll

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the vanquishing-trolls dept.

Patents 89

An anonymous reader writes "Gamasutra reports that a US District Court judge has dismissed the patent infringement lawsuit brought against RuneScape developer Jagex discussed previously on Slashdot. Judge David Folsom last week dismissed online chat company Paltalk's claims that Jagex infringed on Paltalk patents relating to online network communications. The judge's ruling only resolved Jagex's case. Microsoft settled with Paltalk for an undisclosed sum in 2009 after the online communication technology company sued over the patents in a $90 million claim. That settlement opened the door to Paltalk's claims against other game companies, including Blizzard, Turbine, SOE and NCSoft. Paltalk alleged in the Jagex-related suit that it had suffered 'tens of millions of dollars' in damages. Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard said in a statement, 'It is exceedingly unfortunate that the US legal system can force a company with a sole presence in Cambridge, UK to incur a seven-digit expense and waste over a year of management time on a case with absolutely no merit,' and that Jagex 'will not hesitate to vigorously defend our position against any patent trolls who bring lawsuits against us in the future.'"

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89 comments

So would you say (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34278962)

RuneScape managed to run+escape the patent troll?

Re:So would you say (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34279538)

Remember the wonders of slashdot moderation system. If you write troll in your subject or message, someone will mod your message "troll" just because he sees the word.

Re:So would you say (2, Funny)

jpate (1356395) | more than 3 years ago | (#34279692)

How Insightful, Interesting, and Informative of you!

Re:So would you say (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34279984)

funny

what i want to know (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34278984)

people still play runescape...?

Re:what i want to know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34279062)

Play what?

Re:what i want to know (1)

jappleng (1805148) | more than 3 years ago | (#34279254)

I think he meant use Paltalk.

Re:what i want to know (1)

sabs (255763) | more than 3 years ago | (#34280704)

What the fuck is Paltalk :)

Re:what i want to know (5, Interesting)

subanark (937286) | more than 3 years ago | (#34279148)

Maybe you've stopped playing, but runescape is a game aimed at middle school and high school kids. Its simple, has a free ad supported version along with a low cost subscription non-ad version. It can be played from public computers without needing to install any software right in your browser. It provides the standard grind for rewards (with skill points you get to keep forever).

With runescape you get a good deal for what you pay for. It is falls in that nice nitch between causal (farmville) and hardcore (WoW) MMO gamers.

Re:what i want to know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34279170)

WoW is not exactly hardcore. Hardcore games have complex game mechanics and a steep learning curve. WoW is casual, hence the millions of players.

Re:what i want to know (2, Funny)

ooshna (1654125) | more than 3 years ago | (#34279212)

Dwarf Fortress [www.dfwk.ru] anyone?

Re:what i want to know (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 3 years ago | (#34281704)

Fuck yeah!

Re:what i want to know (1)

subanark (937286) | more than 3 years ago | (#34282456)

Wow does have complex game mechanics. The learning curve is not steep however. What I say is hardcore is relative to runescape and games that nearly play themselves like farmville. If you play WoW to the "end" it gets hard. Really insanely hard. The hardest boss in the game, Lich King on hard mode, only a small fraction of the 11 million players have beat. I would venture to guess its below 0.1%. To see his strategy: http://www.wowwiki.com/Lich_King_%28Icecrown_Citadel_tactics%29. You take 25 players with you to try and kill him. Its a 15 minute fight, and anyone dieing can easily mean you try again. Just go to that web page and count the number of ways someone can instantly die for making a single mistake. As an added bonus, you only get 50 unsuccessful tries on him and the 3 wing bosses per week. Yes, many players will use up all 50 of those attempts. Also, he has been "out" for about 8 months now.

Agreed, I grew out of it but it's still great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34280238)

I used to play it a lot in my early teens. I was a paid member for a year or two, too. Eventually, I grew out of it: Not as much because of the game itself but because of the community and games in general. (With college and two part time jobs, I don't really have time to play any games... And it isn't great to play MMO where most players are significantly younger than you are. Nothing wrong with the game itself: I could play it casually if there would be more like me.)

Every once in a while I log back in for some nostalgia kicks (and also, because of professional interest. As a somewhat JAVA-focused student of software engineering, I can appreciate the Java based 3D MMO client in a whole new way). I never get the nostalgia kicks but I always get amazed on how much has improved since the last visit. The server sizes grow, there are new servers (though the growth has dwindled, I see no signs of the game dying) and the game itself is constantly improved: New graphics, new features, new skills...

Sure, it isn't wow: the game isn't good for the massive raids where dozens of people shout at teamspeak... But it is a solid game. At first, you level up fast and get constant feeling of achievement from that... After you get past that point in WoW, you hit the level cap and go to raids for better gear. In RS, it simply gets very slow to level up (very few people have achieved the caps) and people concentrate more on the social interaction. Getting to know new players, helping noobs, occasionally mining or fishing a bit or trying out the latest quest (there is new one like every week or so)... I sure hope that a game like that can keep its place among other MMOs. I might actually register as a paid member, again: I don't have much time to play but Jagex deserves all the support that the nostalgic players can now afford to give it... The fact that they took a stand against patent troll simply solidifies that stance.

Re:what i want to know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34282278)

It provides the standard grind for rewards (with skill points you get to keep forever).

This is why I stopped playing RuneScape: it's a game of patience. Sitting in a cave for two weeks hitting some creature to gain a few levels isn't fun.

teens... and older casual players (1)

sunfly (1248694) | more than 3 years ago | (#34289520)

Amazed at how many parents play RS. I have talked to several that started playing just checking into what their kids were doing and got hooked. I made a character helping my wife one day, and still play a few hours a month. Casual enough it does not feel hard core (I would never play WOW for instance), yet deep enough to hold your interest. Jagex mentioned they were even surprised when they studied their demographics, but I have never seen them published anywhere.

Re:what i want to know (3, Interesting)

lgw (121541) | more than 3 years ago | (#34281068)

people still play runescape...?

WoW has 12M subscribers, RuneScape has 10M, others are far behind. In terms of player, rather than subscribers, it's hard to get hard numbers, but Dofus claims 10M, and I hear there's a free Asian MMO with > 25M players (but can't find evidence of what game that is).

Re:what i want to know (1)

ginbot462 (626023) | more than 3 years ago | (#34281620)

Found this for China MMO's

China’s most popular online games were named, with Netease’s Fantasy Westward Journey leading the pack at 1.8 million peak concurrent users, followed by Giant’s Zhengtu Online at 1.5 million.

        Tencent’s Dungeon and Fighter hit
  1.2 million concurrent users, while Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, operated in the region by The9, came in at 1 million users.

From http://lsvp.wordpress.com/2009/05/06/if-onling-gaming-is-growing-so-fast-why-are-the-companies-not-valued-more-highly/ [wordpress.com]

Cause my guess was Zhengtu Online (ZT Online) before seeing that. Check out this article:

http://www.danwei.org/electronic_games/gambling_your_life_away_in_zt.php [danwei.org]

Re:what i want to know (1)

ginbot462 (626023) | more than 3 years ago | (#34281674)

Also, I should have stressed that's just China. Not including, Korea and other Asian users (though that might be a small addition if there is many other languages available).

Re:what i want to know (2, Funny)

ginbot462 (626023) | more than 3 years ago | (#34281714)

I can't find anything more recent, but Habbo Hotel is the only thing I see competing with WoW.

http://gigaom.com/2008/06/26/warcraft-no-longer-worlds-biggest-mmo/ [gigaom.com]

... I don't know how you suckered me into doing your research for you. Are you a grad professor? ...

Re:what i want to know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34284002)

It's hard to compare subscriber numbers across games with wildly different subscription models.

For WoW, the numbers are: this many unique accounts paid money for at least one month of playtime this quarter.

For the free games, what is a comparable metric? "This many unique accounts logged in this quarter" doesn't carry the same weight; the threshold of effort for "free" is much, much lower than for a monthly subscription. It's like a popularity contest where one candidate is only judged by how many people donated $10 to his cancer fund, but another is judged by how many people only had to click a "like" icon.

(I'm pretty sure if the comparison was dollars paid, divided by 10, divided by months, that WoW would still be crushingly dominant. The logistics of the free-with-a-store model have been covered elsewhere; you may have 25 million players, but only a million buy stuff, but they spend as much as three million monthly subscriptions would have earned. It works, because if you'd been subscription only, you would only have had a few hundred thousand players and never hit critical mass... but it doesn't mean you've beaten WoW's 12 million monthly subscription payers.)

Re:what i want to know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34286212)

Pretty sure Dofus has 10 million accounts, probably mostly bots, rather than subscribers.

I haven't played it in a while - cost me one girlfriend and roughly 2000 hours of lost time.

Money (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34278988)

Microsoft has money, why do they always settle with patent trolls? They can afford to fight, and probably win, a lot of these cases. Perhaps the trolls know this and agree to settle for pittance, rather than getting in a court battle.

Re:Money (3, Insightful)

kailoran (887304) | more than 3 years ago | (#34279002)

If Microsoft fought patent trolls they would be in effect fighting the entire patent system, and could end up accidentally overthrowing all software patents. That wouldn't be good for Microsoft.

Not paranoid enough, think evil! (5, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#34279494)

MS is not SETTLING with patent trolls, it is funding them. MS can afford patent troll payouts, 90 million is peanuts to them. And even if it was 9 billion, then that would be price for burdening all their competitors with endless patent troll battles. I let the tick feed on my rich blood and release a billion offspring on my enemies who cannot afford the loss of blood.

Re:Money (3, Interesting)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34279508)

I think this is Microsoft's reason. I think that "That wouldn't be good for Microsoft." is simply wrong.

Microsoft is sued a lot for patent infringement in suits with various levels of merit. Even if they win, they lose since it costs money to defend these cases.

Microsoft will occasionally licence their patents and will occasionally sue for patent infringement bt this is a very small part of their business. It's also something that is largely avoided. Microsoft has big enough PR problems withut being accused of being a patent troll as well. They lose a lot more in patents litigation than they gain. Even being used to support their monopoloy only has limited success. TomTom's settlement didn't require TomTom to switch to Windows CE, and it would not have made sense for them to do so since that would involve porting to a very different architecture. The easiest solution for most violators is simply to stop using the patented technology.

Mostly they cross-licence. The effect of a eliminating patents would be that they could still use their partners' technology but wouldn't need to waste time on formal agreements.

So the result of patents being abolished for software would be that Microsoft would lose a little in litigation, gain a lot in reduced defensive legal costs, and still have access to a lot of technology.

because they use the trolls to assist them (4, Interesting)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 3 years ago | (#34279098)

Look at the Immersion rumble lawsuit. MS settled with Immersion, part of the settlement was that Immersion was to turn their guns on Sony and then pay MS back with the money Immersion got from Sony.

So MS bolster's Immersions patents by settling and making them look valid, also giving Immersion money to sustain a lawsuit against Sony. MS gets to help crimp Sony's business and help keep out other companies from the gaming market without looking like a patent troll themselves. Well, until the truth leaks out.

Short version: they're scum.

http://blog.seattlepi.com/microsoft/archives/147162.asp [seattlepi.com]

Re:because they use the trolls to assist them (1)

Lord Maud'Dib (611577) | more than 3 years ago | (#34279346)

We needed confirmation that MS are scum?

Re:because they use the trolls to assist them (2, Informative)

GF678 (1453005) | more than 3 years ago | (#34279568)

We needed confirmation that MS are scum?

Actually we do. Microsoft has somehow managed to convince quite a lot of people that they are different to the old scummy Microsoft of the 90s. People need to be reminded of the fact they're not, they just hide it well.

Re:because they use the trolls to assist them (3, Interesting)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#34279640)

I've never understood it. Most ex cons have trouble getting a decent job, yet MS has criminal convictions all over the globe and rakes in the bucks.

Re:because they use the trolls to assist them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34280178)

This is the advantage that being a major exporter has.
This is the whole reason they never got screwed over Win98 as well.
They export pretty profitable software every year through forced installs through huge cuts in price and punishing those by removing said cuts.
This is why they pushed as hard as possible to kill off Linux in the netbook market and that OLPC project. (which they have essentially done for the most part)

Become big enough and you can get away with murder almost.
Or get paid off by governments because "we are too big to fall". UK & US have let me down. They shouldn't have bailed anyone out.
Let them fail, someone else will take their place.

This is why some governments have been sponsoring companies to make their own OS for their own markets to get rid of the need to use external OSes.
Microsoft is going to have a big battle coming up in the next couple decades as more companies produce OSes.
No doubt they will hire actual hit squads if worst comes to worst...

Re:because they use the trolls to assist them (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 3 years ago | (#34281848)

Because MS is not a person in the ways that count. You can't put MS in jail because that would mean building a new prison complex to house 100k+ people. They also have better marketing and a better skill set than most ex-cons.

Re:because they use the trolls to assist them (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#34282208)

Which is why legal corporate personhood is such a dangerous farce. All the benefits of being a person with none of the downsides.

They could (and should) at least implement the equivalent of jail. Confiscation of all profits for the duration of the sentence which must be at least as long as the minimum a natural person would get and full supervision of management by ethics consultants and forensic accountants. The objective is to model the corporation's behavior into that of an ethical person. Since no ethical person would knowingly employ an unethical person to do their dirty work, a purge in management (led by the consultants) would be part of the process.

Re:because they use the trolls to assist them (1)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 3 years ago | (#34282244)

And, in the US, we keep voting them back in...

Oh, sorry, this wasn't the political thread, was it?

Re:because they use the trolls to assist them (2, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34281752)

How do they hide it well? Every once in a while (usually once a year), they'll send the latest FOSS quisling over to Slashdot to tell us how Microsoft really loves open source, but the rest of the time they, through their employees and business partners, they're taking potshots at FOSS, in particular Linux, which they still seem to be in absolute terror of, or they have Balmer reiterating his unsubstantiated patent claims. Then, at least every eighteen to twenty four months they demonstrate quite openly just how evil they really are by something like the OOXML scam.

Re:because they use the trolls to assist them (4, Insightful)

Alistair Hutton (889794) | more than 3 years ago | (#34279926)

Immersion's patents were very, very valid, they didn't need Microsoft settling with them to make them look any more valid. Why do you think Nintendo used a different method of achieving rumble with the N64?

The Immersion patents were for an actual physical invention, the proper and just use of a patent application, that both Microsoft and Sony blatantly ripped off.

Re:because they use the trolls to assist them (1)

openfrog (897716) | more than 3 years ago | (#34280678)

Immersion's patents were very, very valid,

I don't have the time to actually RTFP, but would like to make sure that you don't miss the comment of evanism (here somewhere below), who did:

What a monstrous pile of drivel. Pages and pages of confused circular talk couched in language so broad you could apply it to anything you want. It's insane when a patent is awarded for something like this, when it was designed for a lightbulb, or an electric motor or gunpowder, but this pseudo-IT-speak is dreadful. I would say the lawyer who wrote it didn't know what the Internet was or how it operates. Bloody American patent system

Which makes the quote in the post worth repeating, and I like the typical Biritish understatement in which it is formulated:

It is exceedingly unfortunate that the US legal system can force a company with a sole presence in Cambridge, UK to incur a seven-digit expense and waste over a year of management time on a case with absolutely no merit.

Re:because they use the trolls to assist them (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 3 years ago | (#34281008)

That's all well and good, but that's about Paltalk's patents, not the Immersion ones that the GP is talking about.

Re:because they use the trolls to assist them (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34280738)

How can an unbalanced weight on a motor's spindle be a valid patent? Controlling the wobble frequency is a function of rotation speed, something women's sex toys have been doing for decades.

Re:because they use the trolls to assist them (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34281782)

How can an unbalanced weight on a motor's spindle be a valid patent? Controlling the wobble frequency is a function of rotation speed, something women's sex toys have been doing for decades.

Best prior art ever!

Re:Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34279840)

> Microsoft has money, why do they always settle with patent trolls?

Microsoft has money, AND no scruples, AND lawyers specialized in the field. They could smash any patent troll except for biggest companies (you know, IBM, Apple, Oracle...), in fact keeping the oligopoly alive and well is the reason such a broken system has backers.

On the other hand if I were MS and wanted to funnel funds away, I'd set up a company in a fiscal paradise, or control it in some other indirect way. Then I'd acquire/register patents, sue myself, and lose for an amount of money. It's a win-win for me as I both control others through patents (see fat lawsuit) AND make MS haters think patent hurt me, promoting justice.

This story reinforces my theory.

Re:Money (1)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34279962)

My guess (and it is just a guess) is that a settlement for an undisclosed sum with Microsoft is beneficial for both sides, if that sum is in the region of $1.

Microsoft gets a potential expensive irritant go away and sue their competitors instead, and the troll gets to scare people by saying 'Microsoft folded, so you should too' to everyone else.

I know what will make it better (1, Interesting)

cstec (521534) | more than 3 years ago | (#34278992)

And so where do we get to donate to cover said 7 figure expense and otherwise bitchslap said patent trolls?

Checkbook's right here. And they still suck.

Re:I know what will make it better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34279038)

The losing party probably had to pay for at least some of their expenses. That's how it works in other countries at least (don't know too much about US law, but I would be surprised otherwise). It still sucks, though, and there may be expenses that are left uncovered.

Re:I know what will make it better (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#34280800)

The losing part probably had to file for bankruptcy, so that the corporation itself would die along with its debts (that’s more or less much how an LLC works). The owner(s) could then re-incorporate as a new LLC and keep right on filing frivolous lawsuits like this one.

FTFY. If Jagex got any significant money out of a patent troll, I’d be surprised.

Re:I know what will make it better (4, Interesting)

elwin_windleaf (643442) | more than 3 years ago | (#34279040)

A simple way to donate back would be to buy one of their upgraded accounts for a little while. While RuneScape is a free MMORPG, I think their business model revolves around these upgraded accounts, and that would probably be the easiest way to support them.

Otherwise, their corporate site has a contact page (http://www.jagex.com/corporate/Contact/contact.ws [jagex.com] ) with a bunch of email addresses. I imagine that any one of them would work, especially if the message was "I have this money I'd like you to have". :)

Re:I know what will make it better (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34279122)

especially if the message was "I have this money I'd like you to have".

Probably better than the message that Paltalk entered, which ran "You have this money I'd like me to have."

Re:I know what will make it better (5, Funny)

Ndymium (1282596) | more than 3 years ago | (#34279162)

Strange. I have all this money lying around on a dormant account in the Bank of Nigeria that I'd like to donate, but nobody wants to take me seriously!

Re:I know what will make it better (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34279280)

I find your ideas intriguing and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Re:I know what will make it better (1)

spike1 (675478) | more than 3 years ago | (#34282086)

Perhaps you should invest that money in building MASSIVE YACHTS instead. And then give the MASSIVE YACHTS away in a FREE random-telephone-number PRIZE. draw.

Re:I know what will make it better (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34279472)

What I want to know is: if RuneScape only has an office in the UK, why was this lawsuit handled under the US legal system? Shouldn't the lawsuit have been taking place in the UK in the first place?

Re:I know what will make it better (4, Informative)

arivanov (12034) | more than 3 years ago | (#34279884)

Unfortunately, most registrar's are USA based.

So if a UK company sued in a USA court does a no-show, the troll wins by default. They can then get a court order and have the company USA assets which includes their domain transferred to them. This may include even a co.uk domain as long as it has been registered through Verisign or any of the other USA based registrars. If that is not enough they may get court orders and force any USA ISP to filter out (or deny routing) to any of the UK company servers and thus cut off any USA traffic.

So in cases like this there are 3 options:

1. Shut off any USA business you may have completely. That is what non-Internet companies like for example diagnostics and pharmaceutical companies making generics do. In the Internet case this is rather difficult.

2. Pay up.

3. Fight it on the troll's home turf

This happens both ways by the way though the usual weapon in UK courts is not patents - it is libel and copyright. As a result a lot of USA Internet companies now filter out UK blocks altogether to minimise their libel exposure.

Not just the domains (3, Insightful)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 3 years ago | (#34281070)

Jagex may have personnel only in the UK (I think Gerhard was being a bit inaccurate - there certainly used to be also a tiny office in London), but a large number of their servers are in the US because a large proportion of their clients are in the US and they want low latency. If those servers were seized it would mess the company up very badly.

Patents: another reason for such high drug costs (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 3 years ago | (#34284306)

1. Shut off any USA business you may have completely. That is what non-Internet companies like for example diagnostics and pharmaceutical companies making generics do. In the Internet case this is rather difficult.

I was waiting for a drug that my daughter takes to come off-patent so prices would drop. Then the generic showed up. Then it disappeared. Now it hasn't returned an my only option is to pay for the brand name. It's quite ridiculous, and even worse for those with even more expensive drugs.

Trolls for patent trolls (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34279046)

Hi, this is Stephen from Trolls for Patent Trolls. Located in the heart of East Texas, we serve the dual-purpose of promoting GNAA membership, linking to Goatse, starting flamewars, and supporting unsubstantiated patent claims. If you'd like to donate $1 to the cause, we think you'd really like to donate $1000. Support hardworking companies like SCO and Paltalk in their quest to leech money off people who actually design and create things. We also have bi-weekly group viewings of Gay Niggers from Outer Space, with discussion.

Re:Trolls for patent trolls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34279076)

Hi Stephen.
Where do I sign up? I'm really interested in your activities. /A

Re:Trolls for patent trolls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34279198)

If I post as AC it looks like I'm talking to myself.

Re:Trolls for patent trolls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34279248)

It does indeed.

Re:Trolls for patent trolls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34279856)

I'm going to pretend to be the GP.

Oh, wait, I am the GP. Or am I?

What kind of a loser would go back to review responses to his poorly-executed trolling?

Answer: this kind.

Did anyone READ the patents? (5, Interesting)

evanism (600676) | more than 3 years ago | (#34279070)

What a monstrous pile of drivel. Pages and pages of confused circular talk couched in language so broad you could apply it to anything you want. It's insane when a patent is awarded for something like this, when it was designed for a lightbulb, or an electric motor or gunpowder, but this pseudo-IT-speak is dreadful. I would say the lawyer who wrote it didn't know what the Internet was or how it operates. Bloody American patent system

Re:Did anyone READ the patents? (1)

mikael (484) | more than 3 years ago | (#34281302)

Sadly, these lawsuits aren't new - some companies filed patents on multi-player network games in the 1980's, and proceeded to sue other game companies for using those techniques, despite the fact that similar games had been written and designed at universities and other research labs in the 60's and 70's. Even bedroom game programmers had worked on multi-player games using RS-232 ports.

Tales of Silicon Valley: Bruce Damer on Maze War [cnet.com]

New Boss (5, Funny)

SnakeEater251 (872793) | more than 3 years ago | (#34279088)

In a few weeks, Jagex will release an update to Runescape that will allow you to fight a brand new boss, Paltalk the giant Troll.

Re:New Boss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34279146)

LOL, kudos!

Juan Carlos---

Re:New Boss (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34279250)

Paltalk the giant Troll.

Will he be some worthless lvl 1 cannon fodder that only drops poop? ;)

Re:New Boss (1)

gamricstone (1879210) | more than 3 years ago | (#34280788)

Someone reposted your comment on the official runescape forums, with very little context. Tons of people are going to see your comment and think it is a planned future update, without even knowing of this lawsuit.

Re:New Boss (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#34280814)

Whoosh on them, then.

Re:New Boss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34281430)

Oh no, then they'd have reason to sue.
Can't use their name.

I guess we could call him something like NotPalTalk, or EnemyTalk, MateTalk, Chumtalk.
Ah, wait, i have it! Trolltalk.

Re:New Boss (1)

jtev (133871) | more than 3 years ago | (#34285234)

Pretty sure they'd be covered, parody and all. They might get in trouble for libel, and with them being a Brit company, Paltalk might want to have that tried in English courts, what with the difference in slander and libel laws. They'd be safe in the US though, as it is an honestly held opinion.

Re:New Boss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34285530)

Like the jwilson's in UO? (renamed slimes)

Never piss off a company making a MMO unless you want to end up as the next trash mob for noob's to kill...

No U.S. presence but lots of sales? (3, Insightful)

Arguendo (931986) | more than 3 years ago | (#34279164)

I hate patent trolls as much as the next guy, but it's a little misleading to complain about being hauled into the U.S. legal system as a foreigner. U.S. patents only have legal effect for U.S. sales. If you sell significant enough quantities to make a patent suit worthwhile in the U.S., you've got a decent U.S. presence. That said, congratulations for beating a troll in East Texas - and before trial no less. Not an easy thing to do.

Re:No U.S. presence but lots of sales? (1)

bieber (998013) | more than 3 years ago | (#34279286)

Are you sure about that? I would assume that if you're selling a completely intangible product over the Internet, there's really no need to have a presence in any country other than your base of operations. At most, maybe support centers in countries that speak other languages primarily, if they constitute a large enough portion of your market...

Anyone in the US can sue a foreign company (5, Interesting)

bradley13 (1118935) | more than 3 years ago | (#34279468)

Just an anecdote here. I have a small software company in Europe. We sold our software to one customer in the USA - against the advice of our lawyer, who said to stay out of the US market. A year or so later, a person in that company who had been using our software lost her job. Her hubby had free legal services through UAW, and she could use them. So she figured she'd give it a try: sue us and claim that our software caused her to be fired.

Needless to say, we had to look into the situation. It turns out that basically any US court, even the local court in Nowhereville, can use the so-called "long-arm statute" to claim jurisdiction - just because you sold to a customer in their neighborhood. The fact that the signed purchase contract specifies a different jurisdiction is apparently irrelevant.

Sure, one could just not show up in court. But then you lose, regardless of the merits of the case. While any verdict might be impossible to collect, ultimately it might mean that no one from our company would dare travel to the US. It's not the kind of thing you want hanging over your head forever.

In our case, there was a happy ending. The fact that we actually got a US lawyer to write a rather pointed letter about the stupidity of the claim was enough to get the UAW attorney to back down. Still, it could have gotten really ugly. Needless to say, we have never taken another US customer. Life is too short for this kind of crap.

Re:Anyone in the US can sue a foreign company (4, Funny)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#34279970)

I sincerely apologize for the lawyers of our country and the foul people who would wield them.

We've been trying to thin the lawyer's numbers for some years now, but silver prices are astronomical and there's a shortage on ammunition lately.

Re:Anyone in the US can sue a foreign company (2, Insightful)

evanism (600676) | more than 3 years ago | (#34280130)

wooden stakes and holy water?

Re:Anyone in the US can sue a foreign company (3, Insightful)

Xphile101361 (1017774) | more than 3 years ago | (#34281368)

Can't stake them through the heart if there isn't one there

Re:Anyone in the US can sue a foreign company (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 3 years ago | (#34282360)

I remember Sinbad [imdb.com] having that same problem.

Re:Anyone in the US can sue a foreign company (1)

Myji Humoz (1535565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34280824)

Fortunately, given the recent success of a movie-series-that-shall-not-be-named, there is now an abundant supply of natural predators: werewolves and vampires.

Once the werewolves and vampires have taken care of the lawyers, we can send in gorillas with silver stakes to take care of them. After that, we can wait until winter, and the gorillas will all freeze!

Re:Anyone in the US can sue a foreign company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34280066)

said to hear that. but for the last few years of companys profits declining due to there own stupity. outsourcing etc. everyone whant to play the new lotto we have hear the lawsuit lottery.

Re:Anyone in the US can sue a foreign company (1)

ginbot462 (626023) | more than 3 years ago | (#34281826)

Don't worry, when US final up and tanks it. The stocks crash and burn (again). And this sends economic shock waves amplifying across the pond ... That upcoming Dark Age from US, your Welcome! You are a Visigoth right?

Re:Anyone in the US can sue a foreign company (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#34282218)

I wouldn't use your story as a bad example. Any idiot can walk into city hall and file a suit. How far it goes is the measure of the justice system. And, that's where our problem is.

Countersue (1)

bemenaker (852000) | more than 3 years ago | (#34280506)

Reclaim your legal fee's and make them hurt!!

Oh boy, and I was about to pay Paltalk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34280848)

Then I discovered that Runescape was basically almost like a carbon copy of Paltalk and made Paltalk completely redundant by virtue of its specific messaging mechanism!

Since then I have spent a great deal of money on Runescape doing everything I would normally use PalTalk for! Somehow there is something distasteful about the company but I guess I have just stuck with it!

"Joan"*, TX

*anonymised for fear of harassment and witness tampering by the defendant

Paltalk... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34281350)

...should be held liable for all costs in defense against their insanity.

Re:Paltalk... (1)

spike1 (675478) | more than 3 years ago | (#34282176)

In the UK, the loser in such cases is often forced to pay the costs of both parties by default.

Which is how it should be.
Why should an innocent person be bankrupted by legal fees just because some greedy infantile pathetic idiot sued him when he didn't do anything that deserved suing?

Re:Paltalk... (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#34282402)

In the UK, the loser in such cases is often forced to pay the costs of both parties by default.

Which is how it should be.
Why should an innocent person be bankrupted by legal fees just because some greedy infantile pathetic idiot sued him when he didn't do anything that deserved suing?

Which fails if you're so vastly outgunned. You get sued by $MOVIE_STUDIO for pirating some movies, and they walk into the court with 3 lawyers billing out at $1000/hr. All you've got is a lawyer working on the cheap. You win, they pay the piddly $100/hr your lawyer charged. They win, you not only pay the $100M you owe, but the $4M in billable hours (4 lawyers * 1000 hours each) as well. And in the US (and probalby many other places), he who has money wins. And attempts to appeal that fail, well your $100M may turn into $1M, but now you've racked up another $500k in legal fees (125 hours each), so you are stuck with $4.5M in legal fees with $1M settlement. And it may get appealed again.

Loser pays only works if the amount paid is the lower of the two bills. You lose and your lawyer was working pro-bono? Zip for them! Then again, it can lead to people trying to sue companies and the company then uses a lowballed one for defense. Sure they lose, but if you spent $250/hr on a lawyer and the company spent $100/hr, well, you just lost $150/hr out of your settlement, which can mean you win in principle, but you end up owing your lawyer money.

You can make it asset-based, but that has its own issues as well.

There's no sane way to do it equally amongst all parties that won't end up benefitting companies with money in some way. Perhaps if judges exercise discretion - in cases where there's a vast gulf between the plaintiff and defendant in ability to pay, the one with less means to pay (e.g., corp vs. person) doesn't pay winner's lawyer fees. But if it goes the other way, then not only are fees paid by loser (they could afford their team of lawyers, they can afford one more), but a punitive amount is awarded for trying to outgun the proceedings. But that puts too much sense into the justice system.

Re:Paltalk... (1)

spike1 (675478) | more than 3 years ago | (#34288434)

No system is perfect, but at least with this one, fear of losing a lawsuit can help stem the tide of frivolous lawsuits. Unfortunately, a lot of scumbag lawyers are doing the old "no win, no fee" thing now and the UK is beginning to look almost as bad and litigious as the USA.

Still got a bit to go before it catches up though, and as it seems america is still moving forward (backwards, shirley, Ed), the UK might be playing catchup for quite a while.

Jagex are scum too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34282220)

They piss and moan about abuses of the legal system but suing a bot maker (Jagex lost) seems to not bother them.

Re:Jagex are scum too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34283382)

Wait, it’s not okay to try to go after somebody who makes a product designed solely to help people break your terms of service?

I mean, that’s like taking the “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” analogy except that in this case, guns do kill people, in fact that’s the only thing you can possibly use them for.

bandwagon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34317636)

Now that everyone's jumping on the NPE bandwagon, being an NPE (or "patent troll [generalpatent.com] ") has almost become downright respectable lately. There is one reason that the NPE business model has become increasingly popular: it works. It is also legal, and often helps protect independent inventors and SMEs from exploitation of their intellectual property by larger, more powerful entities. Like it or not, NPEs are here to stay.

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