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Submitted by GunofthePatriots 1126d ago | news

Microsoft sued over Kinect

The Ohio-based firm claims that Microsoft's motion tracking sensor violates seven of its patents, include those that cover a "wide variety of games where the movement of a player is tracked in three dimensions…and certain exercise games where the motion of the player is tracked to effect movement of a virtual avatar, and the exertion of the user is monitored, including where the tracking of the player is done by the use of a camera." (Kinect, Xbox 360)

Credit url: gameinformer.com
Alternative Sources
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ksense  +   1126d ago
lol highly unlikely but hoping this will spark the end of kinect and MS actually focusing on core games. anyways these kind of cases usually go unnoticed after a while. this firm is prolly just trying to get some kind of settlement from microsoft out of this. time will tell
#1 (Edited 1126d ago ) | Agree(47) | Disagree(53) | Report | Reply
Paradicia  +   1126d ago
It seems that the company is acting out on a 'impulse'. Wouldn't say anything will actually materialize :L
otherZinc  +   1126d ago
This company may lose this battle. M$ bought the device from another company or M$ bought the company with the Kinect technology, period. Right?

If so, that company should've sued the original developer of the Kinect tech first.
kneon  +   1126d ago
No point suing a small company that didn't have much of a real product. But now there are billions at stake, and judging from the patents it seems they have a pretty good case. I'm sure this won't shut down Kinect, but it could cost Microsoft a good chunk of change.

And just because Microsoft bought the company doesn't shield them from being sued. When you buy a company you not only get their assets, but also their liabilities. If the patents aren't stuck down then Microsoft will probably lose.
#1.1.2 (Edited 1126d ago ) | Agree(27) | Disagree(5) | Report
gamingdroid  +   1126d ago
***But now there are billions at stake, and judging from the patents it seems they have a pretty good case.***

Because there is more money involved, doesn't mean there is "more" merit. That's a fallacy.

**And just because Microsoft bought the company doesn't shield them from being sued. When you buy a company you not only get their assets, but also their liabilities. If the patents aren't stuck down then Microsoft will probably lose.***

Well depends on what you mean by struck down, but the patents can be invalidated if there is prior art, potentially too broad or if MS has other patents they can show as a counter-argument. That said, you also have to show the patents actually apply at all.

It's hard to say, because patents are a mess. I think we really need to redo the patent law, when companies are using patents as some kind of weapon to keep each other at bay and very often, they are patenting the idea (i.e. too broad) more than a way to do it.

Many things are too obvious to patent, yet we get stupid patents like 1-click ordering by amazon.com.

This though could hurt Kinect significantly, if it is perceived as legally dangerous to release games for the device.
#1.1.3 (Edited 1126d ago ) | Agree(8) | Disagree(15) | Report
Persistantthug  +   1125d ago
@gamingdroid....I think you misunderstood what Kneon was saying and/or getting at.
"Because there is more money involved, doesn't mean there is "more" merit. That's a fallacy."

He's not saying there's more "merit" because there's more money involved.....He's saying there's more incentive and motivation.

None of use knows if Microsoft will win or lose, but as you said, it could disuade devs fom developing for it....especially, for example, if your own dev company could get called into court.

Personally, I bet Microsoft settles....that's what they normally do in cases like these.....this ain't the first time for MS.
gamingdroid  +   1125d ago
@Persistantthug
Yeah, Kneon sent me a message clarifying so yes, I misunderstood. My apologies to kneon.

That said, MS undoubtedly expected this sort of thing. It's sad that anytime a successful products come on the market, there are tons of lawsuits. You essentially plan in lawsuits as a cost of doing business now.

These d@mn lawyers are ruining our country!
#1.1.5 (Edited 1125d ago ) | Agree(8) | Disagree(3) | Report
kreate  +   1125d ago
microsoft has been sued so many times. i dont think its a big deal. thy got other things to worry about. its just 1 more case for their paralegal department to deal with.
hikayu  +   1125d ago
this company is just one of the hundreds of thousands of companies out there that troll patents . they file dubious claim that provide very very brief detail of their "invention" , do very little research on it and basically wait for someone to either buy them up or sue the shit out of anyone that actually turn it into something . the patent system in the united state is broken . it inhabited with patent troll of all kinds , just waiting to suck the money out of anything they can for no flippin work. i read through the patent of this company , it basically is statement of an imagination. basically , it's a fiction filed as an "invention" . they never clearly stated what did to achieve the said action .
basically , they claim that anything involving tracking movement in 3d space using sensor is their idea ...
man WTF ?!! this is not an invention , everyone want something like that since they were 10 ! it's like saying patenting a system where they can recognize voice for position placement . that is not an invention , the invention should be how you do to achieve it : triangulation of microphone , algorithm , sensitive mic ...w/e
i hope this base lose , get their "patents" revoke . there need to be a fix for this broken patent system .
Vaud-Villian  +   1125d ago
MS should just buy it and close it.
zag  +   1125d ago
I don't think this will go far.

Think about it.

This patent is about a device that does 3D tracking for games but does so via certain moves that just so happen to be the same moves you'd use in a dance game etc then moves that you'd use in a exercise game etc.

It's just a little bit specific of a device and then the moves are a little too specific and just to add to it all, this company decides to sue a few years after the device is R&D and then produced and sold out in the stores.

I'm not a MS fan but even I find this a bit fishy.
fr0sty  +   1125d ago
This won't permanently shut kinect down if MS does not settle out of court, but it could temporarily shut it down much like Sony had to remove rumble for a bit there until they settled.
gaffyh  +   1125d ago
I doubt anything will come of this, but the strange thing is, it makes no sense that other publishers are liable, because they are just making software for a MS device. If anything, the only company who is liable is MS, but even then, the patent is so wide. From what they're saying, even Sony would be liable in some aspects, because the Eyetoy did most of what they're claiming is infringed.

It's more likely actually, that this company is hoping that MS will settle because it is easier, I don't think they'd win in court.
EVILDEAD360  +   1125d ago
LOL @ buying patented tech and the company that invented it..then another company is pretending they can patent moving avatars in a 3d space with a camera.

Suuuure.show us where this tech exists..

This will get ATE up in court..

Kinect isn't going anywhere no matter how the usual suspect pray on their knees for it's downfall

Ecil
LOGICWINS  +   1126d ago
$500 million when into Kinect's marketing ALONE. This doesn't include R & D costs. If Microsoft doesn't break even with Kinect, then where will they get the money to create these core games you want?

Think before you post.
Apophis   1126d ago | Spam
insomnium2  +   1125d ago
@apophis

Yeah I remember. I also remember how cocky the x360 fanbase was due to "it's all about games". They shouted out "Failstation" and "it's only a BD-player" for years and now when the table has turned (like we said it would) there's not even ONE complaint over this. Noone cares about games anymore. Exclusives are not important AT ALL. I'm like O_O when I read some peoples' comments here.
kingdoms  +   1126d ago
When you say "core game focus" you're really saying *I the ps3 fanboy wants kinect to die so ps3 doesn't bleed to death*
#1.3 (Edited 1126d ago ) | Agree(25) | Disagree(48) | Report | Reply
WhiteLightning  +   1126d ago
LOL...there are a ton of people who have both consoles which don't like Kinect.

You mention something bad about Microsoft and your suddely a fanboy...please

Says the guy with one bubble.
kneon  +   1126d ago
About 80% of Xbox owners haven't yet bought Kinect, I guess they all must be PS3 fanboys /s
The Iron Sheik  +   1125d ago
If you're a core gamer on 360 then you should want Kinect to die more than the PS3 fanboys.
kikizoo  +   1125d ago
Lol, fanboy much : "ps3 bleeding to death", when the thing sell more, have better game and functionalities trhan this favorite box.

"This doesn't include R & D costs"

no R&D, just a paycheck to buy the israelian product.
-DeathWraith-  +   1125d ago
Face it mate, Microsoft has dropped the ball with their core fanbase.
TheBatman_Fanatic  +   1125d ago
Why would a ps3 fanboy want Kinect to die. PS3 gamers have plenty of games to play while 360 gamers were ditched becuase M$ wanted to focus on Kinect.
insomnium2  +   1125d ago
The PS3 fanbase has been on the motion bandwagon since 2006 with sixaxis controller. I loved it in Lair and R&C TOD for example.

The x360 on the other hand has been pro-core games and has rubbed that one thing in PS3 fanbase's face since the beginning. After they lost the games-argument they went on straight into sales. Now when even sales are kinda grey area they find themselves waiting on the next gen to arrive saying exclusive games don't matter.

That is so hypocritical it's not even funny anymore. Why doesn't the games matter anymore? You guys were so hell bent on laughing at the PS3 with your "waitstation" back then. Does anyone even remember this anymore? I do and I find the newest developments in this console war preposterous. PS3 gamers are cocky and only care about exclusives? WTH it was YOU who started laughing at us for those very same things. That is the only reason we even mention them. I'm at a loss for words (and bubbles too) for you x360 people.

Remember that I'm not talking about you who just recently jumped in in 2009+ or something. I'm talking about you who were here 5 years ago. Yes YOU.

ontopic: If MS is to blame in this then they shall pay. Same with anyone including Sony.
#1.3.7 (Edited 1125d ago ) | Agree(9) | Disagree(1) | Report
NastyLeftHook00   1125d ago | Spam
Heartnet  +   1125d ago
Wudnt stop kinect.. theyd pay off the company and thatll eb that
cannon8800  +   1125d ago
How many thought that they were being sued by some person who got seriously hurt playing one of those kinect games?
the_best_player  +   1125d ago
Kinect needs to die because there's no hard core games for it.
M-A-R-S-H-A-L-L  +   1125d ago
Personally, I hope the little guys win. :)
midgard227  +   1125d ago
WOOT! Kill kinect!
likedamaster  +   1125d ago
Everyone predicted this. No one sued before, but as soon as Kinect was successful, they take a crack at it. So typical of these hardware/supply companies to go after Microsoft. A tech, I'm absolutely sure, they had nothing to do with, sought out, made sure Microsoft didn't have the patent to and blatantly sue them for it.

Microsoft specifically acquired all the companies that had anything to do with the technology to cover all its bases, and someone still sues.

But I digress. It's anyone's guess here. Who knows what's really going on, right?
rabidpancakeburglar  +   1126d ago
Looks like Microsoft will have to give out quite a large settlement if this is true but they will no doubt be good for it. Not sure why the publishers are being sued though.
#2 (Edited 1126d ago ) | Agree(9) | Disagree(9) | Report | Reply
Dlacy13g  +   1126d ago
Typical Lawyer move... name all remotely associated when you file the lawsuit. Its a scare tactic and also a deep pockets concept. More than likely all the publishers will get excused from the lawsuit.
rabidpancakeburglar  +   1126d ago
Why am I getting disagrees? It's a valid point. Kinect has sold millions and if this lawsuit goes in favour of that company then Microsoft will have to pay a lot of money.
kneon  +   1126d ago
Read the patents and you will see why. Kinect on it's own doesn't violate some of the patents. It's the way Kinect is used in some sports related games that violates the patents.

So it's the combination of the game developer+Kinect that violates the patents and therefore both get sued.

No more bubbles so @jacksheen0000 below. It's unlikely this company wants to stop them selling Kinect, they most likely want a royalty, in which case they want Microsoft to sell as many as possible
#2.3 (Edited 1126d ago ) | Agree(6) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
jacksheen0000  +   1126d ago
If Microsoft end up loosing the rights to make any further kinects devices in the new future... I won't be affected by it.And of course, I wouldn't ever see it as major lost in gaming industry... so either way if fine with me.
Batista2020   1126d ago | Spam
YodaCracker  +   1126d ago
Yawn.
cgoodno  +   1126d ago
Won't go anywhere. Most of the patents were filed many many years ago and updated when MS bought the company that originally filed them.
Heartnet  +   1125d ago
Unless thwe patent was filed 25 years ago they have a case... if not a small insignificant one
WesMcLaren  +   1125d ago
Yea...most of microsoft's products were created by other people and bought out by them.
lazertroy  +   1126d ago
For the Love of Money People will Steal from their Brother. For the Love of Money People will rob their Own Mother.

Related video
kramun  +   1126d ago
Oh noes.
kramun  +   1126d ago
Lol, what did you disagree with? 'Oh' or noes'?
WesMcLaren  +   1125d ago
noes, Itz jus badd gramerr.
Cpt_kitten  +   1126d ago
gotta love how people sue for no reason

like how people are suing sony for them not being able to play online

bunch of cry babies if you ask me
Magnus  +   1126d ago
All a person needs now is Nintendo suing Sony over the Move. I think this is just a stupid way to get more money out of someone everybody knows there is always away to get around a pantent.
Batista2020   1126d ago | Spam
Shackdaddy836  +   1126d ago
I don't think Nintendo put a patent on their design...
Lyr1c  +   1125d ago
Wouldn't happen. The Move was in development around the same time the Wii was in development. Before either were even publicly displayed. Move was originally a PS2 accessory.
Lyr1c  +   1125d ago
Why the disagrees?

There's proof all over youtube. I don't get how people disagree with fact.

http://www.youtube.com/watc...

That's one of many.... -sigh-

http://www.youtube.com/watc...

And more.
Imalwaysright  +   1125d ago
Motion sensor controllers were invented YEARS before Nintendo started R & D the Wii.
Series_IIa  +   1126d ago
Simple tactic is just to counter sue...

Sorts everything out.
aviator189  +   1126d ago
Seriously? They just now decide to sue them, after kinect has been on shelves since last year?? I call bs on this one. If Impulse Technology really had a valid case, they'd sue ms right after kinect was released, not months after its release. The company probably realized that kinect sells quite good and probably wanted to capitalize on that.

Also odd that they just realized this right after ms posted record earnings..
#12 (Edited 1126d ago ) | Agree(8) | Disagree(5) | Report | Reply
darksied  +   1126d ago
No, that's not how they do it. Look at all the suing going on; what they do is wait for the company to do a lot of business with said device, THEN sue them. Then you can claim damages (?) or whatever and say they made a whole lot of money at your expense (and then cash in). Jesus, this country needs some work.
Armyntt  +   1125d ago
Yea so people arent sue crazy.
f789790  +   1125d ago
It's the patent system. There are so many stupid things you can patent that aren't inventions. These small companies patent concepts that they never plan on using except for when another company makes money on something related.

20% of your DNA is patented. Yeah.
skrug  +   1125d ago
Look how long it took immersion to sue sony/microsoft.
not with dualshock 1, dualshock 2, only when the ps3 was launching did they sue
AO1JMM  +   1126d ago
Nothing better than extremely vague patents wasting the courts time and money.
Heartnet  +   1125d ago
its their money their wasting so :) let em at it
Simco876  +   1126d ago
Is the Eye-Toy filing? lol
Gamingbethyname  +   1125d ago
Do people still blame Microsoft for copying the EyeToy? Jeez.
PIayStation  +   1126d ago
Best way of getting rich? - Sue some one
Become a huge dick in the process? - Who cares.
devilhunterx  +   1126d ago
Well BAM!
Chucky2003  +   1126d ago
it isn't surprising,i think this is just the beginning,this Kinect motion device its not invented by M$ or their studios,this tech is out for a long time in the works,i personally knew about it even before they announced that Natal project,just that they are the first who implemented or are trying to implemented in games,actually maybe in a year or two we will see TV's using this,without the need of remote,this is what actually saw before Natal
#17 (Edited 1126d ago ) | Agree(5) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
CYBERHATER  +   1126d ago
I think somebody just wants some money. lol
ALFAxD_CENTAURO  +   1126d ago
Lol.
jacksheen0000  +   1126d ago
I thought a company can only patent something for up to 7 years;after that every company can use the technology.

never mind it up to 14 years

personally the patent laws need to change a bit just to make thing fair.
#20 (Edited 1126d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
darksied  +   1126d ago
It's not so much that people are getting sued over patents all over the place. The thing is, why are people allowed to file for patents that cover such a broad and sweeping definition? The patent that those guys own could cover ANYTHING using a camera (move, kinect, any webcam on any computer); it's crazy how they're ALLOWED to apply for that type of patent. Shouldn't they be more specific?

I'm waiting for the person who applied for the patent using "objects that move people from place to place at fast speeds." I'm sure it's out there somewhere.
aviator189  +   1126d ago
haha, that's a good point.
tiffac  +   1125d ago
Because the suing industry would die of if the patenting system is fixed. lol!
KillerPwned  +   1126d ago
Nothing is gonna happen moving on now...
JonnyBigBoss  +   1126d ago
You mean someone else thought of that terrible idea first? Wow...
pumpactionpimp  +   1125d ago
Nothing left to say but, Haaaa haaaaa!
Pootangpie  +   1125d ago
I was going to say this article is legit
one problem it came from game Informer the worst journlists and Magazine Makers on the planet so I don't take this article seriously at all
#25 (Edited 1125d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
IronFrogMan  +   1125d ago
I don't know much about patents but to me it sounds something like my local coffee shop suing Starbucks because Starbucks does it better...... :/
Edit: I'm not saying Microsoft made it better because I don't know what this companies product would have turned out to be however I do think Kinect is fun, will be interesting if anything occurs because of this.
#26 (Edited 1125d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
BinkyStalls  +   1125d ago
i forgot all about kinect
Imalwaysright  +   1125d ago
Just another day in the office for MS lawyers!
Eu  +   1125d ago
MS will try and settle this like always...buying part of the company and such....but then again, that is US..where someone is just a breath away from suing someone because he did breath in the wrong way....
KMCROC  +   1125d ago
Something is rotten in the state of Ohio(Impulse Technology).
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