Submitted by Pandemic 2071d ago | news

Microsoft Sued Over Xbox Live

On June 22, 2009, the day before trial began, the judge in this patent infringement case made a key decision by opting to use the special master's construction of a disputed claim.

In 1991, Peter Hochstein and Jeffrey Tenenbaum came up with the idea of communicating live while playing the same video game in separate locations. They patented the technology for doing so in 1994. In 2002, Microsoft released Xbox Live, a gaming service that also allows users to communicate while playing the same game. Sony also released similar capabilities for PlayStation 2. In 2004, Hochstein, Tenenbaum and Harold Milton, Jr. (an assignee of the patent) brought a patent infringement suit against Microsoft and Sony alleging that the voice and data communications technology used in the gaming systems infringed on the patent claims. For relief they sought a permanent injunction and treble damages. Sony settled its suit in April 2009, leaving Microsoft as the only remaining defendant. (Industry, Xbox 360)

Credit url: kotaku.com
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Arsenic13  +   2071d ago
Attention fanboys. The same sh*t happened to Sony so please read the article before some retarded crap is written.
Sunny_D   2071d ago | Spam
UnSelf   2071d ago | Spam
Voozi   2071d ago | Spam
cayal   2071d ago | Spam
swiftshot93  +   2071d ago
is this really the gamer zone?
holy sh1t lol. Its funny though.
Tony P  +   2071d ago
Seriously, if you can take the time to write a comment, take time to at least read the blurb. You all want to accuse MS of foul play, but you neglect to see both Sony and MS are at risk. Clearly stated in the blurb alone.

The guy sued both. Sony settled this year. He's also brought a new lawsuit against the two since they've since come out with new consoles running on what he says is his same idea.
heroicjanitor  +   2071d ago
I don't understand this..
MS and Sony use different ways to support online play, so how can he sue both? Does he own all online play because he thought of it first?
Thugbot187  +   2071d ago
Just so silly because the patent used the most generic terms to describe online video game computer communication. Hopeful Sony and Microsoft can beat this.
Greywulf  +   2071d ago
I just patented the idea of using the letters "A,Z,H,L" While communicating online.
^^^^^^ all owe me monies.
The Lazy One   2071d ago | Spam
IdleLeeSiuLung  +   2071d ago
This is the problem with patenting software ideas. Example of this is the amazon 1-click purchase.

I guess all companies do this so they all kill each other while the lawyer is laughing all the way to the bank!
Greywulf  +   2071d ago
RememberThe357  +   2071d ago
Sony settled this a while ago. This is behind them.
FamilyGuy  +   2071d ago
Generic much?
That patent is just ridiculous, there should be technology related to patents because the ability to patent an idea limits everyone. Why should I pay royalties to "that guy" just cause he thought of riding a treadmill to power a generator first? He should only be able to patent idea technological method of doing so.

If sony paid/settled the first time then his case against the PS3 and 360 are just as valid this time since he still owns the patent. Unless sony paid for constant use or something...
Arsenic13  +   2071d ago
I sacrificed a bubble to call out these fanboy tards.
FamilyGuy  +   2071d ago
Well I lost 4 bubbles since yesterday for speaking out, WITHOUT BASHING, so beat that. LOL@me :(
AAACE5  +   2071d ago
The main question is, people have been playing PC games and communicating longer than Xbox and Playstation have been doing it. Why haven't they sued PC manufactuers or game companies?

I guess it's just easier to go after a defined big target as the culprit!
OgTheClever  +   2071d ago
These kind of lawsuits really annoy me because it's more or less the case of somebody patenting something yet had no real plans of doing it themselves anyway. So if somebody comes up with a similar idea 10 years later, and it is in no way influenced by the original idea, then there really shouldn't be a problem.
JoySticksFTW  +   2071d ago
Ha-ha! Sony settled quick! They remember what happened with the Rumble Immersion debacle. Good for them
And MS has more money than... well anyone... so they'll be all right
y0haN  +   2071d ago
Lol, what you can get away with a patent these days. I'm sure these people patented drinking water and using the toilet.
a_squirrel  +   2070d ago
lol, too late xD

Lord Shuhei Yoshida  +   2071d ago
M$ stealing the ideas of someone else is not new.Good thing that Microshaft already has the patents to flops and defective hardware
Sunny_D  +   2071d ago
HarukoHex  +   2071d ago
ahhh sony was also sued, but then again ignorant fanboys like yourself wouldn't read that far.
Narutone66  +   2071d ago
@1.2 The thing is Sony already
settled the suit. MS haven't, they must be too arrogant to do so.
HarukoHex  +   2071d ago
heres the difference MS knows it will win, seeing how the two with the patent never actually made the technology they patented the "idea" if they had done that, it would have been done long before 2002. T_T i mean really, how blind are you. its like those other attacks against the wii, they patented the motion but never actually made the device or knew how to due it, they only had the idea. so they will just loose. its just sony is to much of a coward to actually fight for what they help make. not the 2 losers who went hey i have a idea. and never do any actual work.
JohnnyBadfinger  +   2071d ago
I agree with Hex ^^
You cant get everything for free!
Thats why Sony will ultimately loss the online war, they cant keep adding features and say have it for free because they are running at a loss cause with each new feature thats someone else they gotta pay.

XBOX LIVE will NEVER be free and rightfully so, But its only a matter of time before Sony start raping the PS3 owners pockets when they realise they cant deliver a feature that aint making them any money, or they'll just bin the feature all together (unlikely).

the clocks ticking droids, enjoy it while it lasts, cause it aint got long left.
#2.5 (Edited 2070d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
AngryTypingGuy  +   2071d ago
Lord Sh!thead, try reading more than two lines in. Sony was guilty of the same thing, it's just that they already settled.

JohnnyBadfinger, you're exactly right. I don't know for sure whether PSN will always be free or turn into a pay service, but you can bet that Sony sees MS making a killing off of Live, and it's in the back of Sony's head that charging for PSN can be an extra source of MUCH NEEDED revenue.
#2.6 (Edited 2071d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
MetalGearBear  +   2071d ago
lol at the picture.
Shaka2K6  +   2071d ago
LOL about damn time really, charging for an online service to play online games with a game you already bought on a system that wasn't given to you...
evilmonkey501  +   2071d ago
viva psn
HarukoHex  +   2071d ago
OMG, World of warcraft, city of heros villians, rune scape, ever quest, final fantasy 11, how about the ps2, you actually had to buy a extra 150$ device just to get online, oh how about this one. all those PC servers you all say are free. they are not, someone actually pays to let you play on them, if they all stoped you couldn't play anymore.....hmmm. you sony fans really can't think very well, if its not free its not worth it, really, tell that to every car dealer in the world, you have to pay 500$ more for a good stereo on the car, up to 1000$ for some decent looking tires. maybe those should be free since you can't drive the car without them. see this is how your logic looks.
UnwanteDreamz  +   2070d ago
So you're saying Sony giving something to their customers for free is a bad thing?

Wel I can see why you are stuck in the openzone. You kids make me laugh when you try to sound smart.
#4.3 (Edited 2070d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
HarukoHex  +   2070d ago
who said i was stuck in the open zone. >.>....as for sony and free we all know how that works, remember all the extra stuff they promised in HOME, yet most of that is not there. because its free. and how about the fact sony charges like 3.99 for a couch in home. what kinda of BS is that. you can't even get fake money to buy a couch in the game, you have to use your real money to add something you will never use in RL. so tell me who is really the criminal of the OMG lets make them pay for it. ROFL.
UnwanteDreamz  +   2066d ago
Lets pretend that you know what you are talking about.

Now you would be aware that Home users get free items every month. You would be aware of the fact that you don't have to buy a single thing in Home to enjoy chatting and playing mini games. You would be aware of the fact that you are given FREE clothing spaces and decor such as a couch when you DL the free app.
Sunny_D   2071d ago | Spam
F3NIX DX  +   2071d ago
Sony was smart enough to settle i'll bet microsoft won't do the same until the very end when they know they are about to lose they will settle for an undeclared amount. what i don't understand is why did they take so long to come out and sue, haven't they heard of the ps2,ps3,xbox,360,psp,dreamcast ...etc all capable of communicating with other people (although dreamcast used dial-up)
Tony P  +   2071d ago
The plaintiffs have been at this since 2004 which is two years after the début of Live. From what I've seen it's not that unusual for it to take a year or two to pool your resources before launching an infringement suit.
vagisil  +   2071d ago
sony settled because that says guilty
and for the second part, this guy refiled another suit to sue again....meaning if micro settled as quick as sony did they would be sued twice.

MS and Sony use different ways to support online play, so how can he sue both? that quote by him says it all/

i love how n4g is one day

pr guru's

noone in here including me knows all the legal mumbo jumbo.

of course when it all else fails i know who will think they know


2 sony fanboys.

microsoft isn't so stupid to "settle out of court" like sony meaning sony was more "guilty" than micro.

this title is not true to the "article"

lame attempt by sony fans to down play live. period

sony got sued too. READ
Blaze929  +   2071d ago
"what i don't understand is why did they take so long to come out and sue"

It's simple, greed. If someone stole a song you wrote would you sue them immediately or wait till it reaches it's peak and try to get as much money as possible do to the success of the song?
Immortal Kaim  +   2071d ago
These things are ridiculous, these patent infringements are getting more and more absurd. Anyone can take out a patent on ANYTHING, with no intention of ever developing the idea. Then they wait until someone actually does introduce whatever it was that was patented, and then sue the ass off them...pathetic.

Really, patenting voice communication over the net whilst playing games is ludicrous.
keysy420  +   2071d ago
how much did sony pay>
F3NIX DX  +   2071d ago
wait minute sony doesn't support cross game chat like xbox 360...devs. implement this if they want to use it on the ps3. ps3 only supports voice chat mail. so does this mean he can sue game studios if they want to?
#9 (Edited 2071d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
randomwiz  +   2070d ago
"at least one remote video game"

basically using a headset to talk to other people in the game is an infringement of this patent.
kaveti6616  +   2071d ago
Did these guys actually develop a way of communicating while playing the same game or did they just get the idea and patent the idea? Because, if they just got the idea and said, "Oh, I bet a large company with engineers will probably develop this capability one day, and then we can sue them for taking our idea," well then eff those guys. Both MS and Sony spent money or research and development to make the capability.

MS and Sony used their own engineers and their own resources. Why should they have to owe these guys anything? There are billions of people in the world. It is probable for two different people to have the same idea. The one who takes the initiative is more commendable than the moron who says he owns the idea but never does anything with it.

I really think that neither MS or Sony is wrong here. These A-holes are just leeches that are feeding off the success of two large companies. I hope MS counter-sues for frivolous charges and runs these guys into the ground.
#10 (Edited 2071d ago ) | Agree(11) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Immortal Kaim  +   2071d ago

I guess the army owes the relatives of Da Vinci heaps of cash for using blackhawks, his aerial screw is clearly the same idea as the modern helicopter, hell he even had sketches...sue the ass off of them...
Magnus  +   2071d ago
A patent that remains dormant for that long and is not in any use should be null and void every other month Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo get sued for something. What next I see Microsoft gets sued again cause the Xbox is white or Sony gets sued cause the system is black.
Nihilism   2071d ago | Spam
BX81  +   2071d ago
@Narutone66 no that's not the point buddy. The point is he acted like MS was the only one who stole it. Like Sony wasn't there as well. Sure Sony settled and why because they stole it as well, but you can only expect dumbness from a droid or bot.
ElementX  +   2071d ago
PC games back in the day allowed you to send text messages to others playing the same game. Why weren't they taken to court? Some games even allowed you to communicate via headsets.
#14 (Edited 2071d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Blow Out Your Brains  +   2071d ago
Damn, SONY already settled. MS is next. This guy is rich biatch!!
devilhunterx  +   2071d ago
you get what you paid for. oh wait. M$ didnt.
BadKarmaSutra96  +   2071d ago
I like the pic of the lawyers. They all look happy like they just won the lottery.

I predict Bill Gates will show Peter Hochstein and Jeffrey Tenenbaum a patent of his own called the "satellite mounted death ray". Then they can talk to each other over IP and tell each other how they're melting and catching fire.

I think the descendants of Alexander Graham Bell should sue Peter Hochstein and Jeffrey Tenenbaum over infringing on the concept of communicating remotely over a wire.
na-no-nai  +   2071d ago
this thing is getting retarded i mean. if they had made it and tried to used it in game console right and got denied then i will understand but they havent even made that crap yet. and they sued it years later after it came out. wtf wrong wit this world. people just out there for money. hope microsoft win this battle
#18 (Edited 2071d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Jihaad_cpt  +   2071d ago
the American dream
Too_Hyped  +   2071d ago
That's what you get when all you bring to the industry is faulty hardware with a 50% failure rate and blatant ripoffs of existing technologies (Avatar Mii ripoff, natal eyetoy ripoff...)

The world would be better without Microsoft.
Silber  +   2071d ago
This one describes this nonsense at best:

M_Prime  +   2070d ago
Sheikh Yerbouti  +   2071d ago
This happens a lot people...
In yesterday’s WSJ, I read Honda has patented hybrid vehicles. Ford too has a hybrid vehicle, the architecture different and developed independently of Honda. Honda still could sue Ford for patent infringement, but has instead decided to cross-license the technology. Still other automakers are in a fix, because fuel-economy standards are necessitating hybrid vehicles – some are pursuing a wholly electric-powered car. The only Green here is the money for Honda.

Personally, with DRM to ‘napkin’ patents to litigation against Pirate Bay, I feel our current IP laws are woefully antiquated. The only problems with that IMHO are what laws replace those?
Sheikh Yerbouti  +   2070d ago
My Bad...
it was Toyota, not Honda.
badbond1  +   2071d ago
Sony took responsibility...
in its own actions and paid out. Microsoft is truly showing its iron fist, but the only problem is, it's corroded! Let it go, Micro$oft. You will lose and will eventually pay more than Sony!
JockamoTwo  +   2071d ago
The hilarity ensues...
...I love the part when they request marketing documents from Microsoft related to Ms. Mason:

"Over the next week, Microsoft proceeded to provide over 140,000 documents to Hochstein without any index."

lol that kicks ass

and then:

"Microsoft’s five week delay and “document dump” less than two months before trial also annoyed the court. The court ordered Microsoft to provide an index of the marketing documents within one week and barred Microsoft from introducing the marketing documents against Hochstein or contesting the admissibility of the marketing documents at trial."

stop with the marketing documentS!! lol
#24 (Edited 2071d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
artsaber  +   2071d ago
I think I will patent the idea of "Breathing Air"
This way I can disallow these patent squatters the right to breathe and kill them off... or of course I will sue. lol
hesido  +   2070d ago
They patented communication
There's NOTHING, and NOTHING genius behind it. They don't deserve any of the money they might make out of this.
And they should not be awarded. How is this different than VoIP? Their idea was that players could talk *while* gaming. Wow, that's very clever of them.
M_Prime  +   2070d ago
i swear i've been talking while gaming since COUNTER STRIKE BETA days..

dear god VALVE is prolly next!
Darkspade  +   2070d ago
This is a joke because Xbox live Voice and sony's voice are to different things, you telling me the this company invented Both????
first the Dual Shock and this Sony's in a hurt locker right now, I hope Microsoft blows these guy out of the water and not pay out just to move on... whats next the founder of glass is going to sue the World
JohnMcClane   2070d ago | Spam
dagreylion  +   2070d ago
Microsoft is robbing people on Xbox live so the should have enough money in the back pocket to pay it......
Dogswithguns  +   2070d ago
This is BS, Im tired of this BS suing crap.
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