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Apparent patent troll sues major social game companies
Apparent patent troll sues major social game companies
March 1, 2012 | By Tom Curtis

March 1, 2012 | By Tom Curtis
More: Social/Online, Business/Marketing

An apparent patent troll using the name Gametek has sued some of the social game industry's biggest companies, accusing them of violating a patent related to virtual transactions.

The social companies in question include most of the market's biggest players, such as Zynga, 6waves Lolapps, Wooga, Crowdstar, Electronic Arts, and numerous others -- the lawsuit names 21 defendants in all.

Gametek, meanwhile, has no clear business or assets to its name, effectively making it a "patent troll," which operates only to acquire patents and sue companies that allegedly violate them, reports PaidContent.

In this case, Gametek is referring to a U.S. patent describing a "System and methods for obtaining advantages and transacting the same in a computer gaming environment" -- essentially referring to in-app purchases.

In truth, this isn't the first company to bear the Gametek name. Gametek originally existed as an independent game publisher in the 1990s, and released a number of titles based on Wheel of Fortune, Double Dare, and other popular game shows.

The company filed for bankruptcy in 1997 and finally closed its doors in 1998. Now, the plaintiffs in this case are using the Gametek name to represent themselves in court.

The party currently behind Gametek is seeking a permanent injunction against the defendants, a reimbursement of its legal fees, and any other assets to which it may be entitled.

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Radek Koncewicz
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"...methods for obtaining advantages and transacting the same..."

Amazing. That's a patent for a virtual bribe!

Alex Leighton
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Someone needs to be made an example of to stop these lawsuits wasting the legal system's time and resources, seriously.

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Hakim Boukellif
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Kind of interesting how even news articles are starting to explicitly use the term "patent troll." It's gotten so bad there's no point in beating around the bush any more, I guess.