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After 9 years, Activision has won a patent lawsuit over 3D multiplayer games

Call Of Duty: Warzone soldiers leaving a building
(Image credit: Activision)
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Activision Blizzard has won a nine-year lawsuit brought against it by Worlds Incorporated.

The self-described "leading intellectual property developer and licensee of patents related to 3D online virtual worlds" originally sued Activision Blizzard back in 2012 for allegedly infringing on five of their patents (opens in new tab). These patents covered a "system and method for enabling users to interact in a virtual space," essentially claiming in their lawsuit that they had invented avatars, 3D multiplayer and the ability to interact with other players in a 3D space (thanks, PCGamesN (opens in new tab)).

Worlds Incorporated specifically cited World of Warcraft and Call of Duty as main culprits and requested Activision Blizzard cease the infringement—presumably by shutting down their games—and paying out for the supposed patent violations.

Activision Blizzard argued that you can't really patent something as vague as 3D multiplayers and systems for filtering players in a 3D environment, as well as retaliating with a small lawsuit of their own in 2013 (via GamesIndustry (opens in new tab)). 

The Court eventually sided with Activision (opens in new tab) last month, saying that World Incorporated's patents were "abstract ideas" and the generic steps listed in their patents do not "provide the inventive concept to convert the abstract idea into a patent-eligible process."

While not exactly a lawsuit battle of Epic and Apple proportions, it's certainly a weight off of Activision Blizzard's shoulders—after all, it's not exactly the only lawsuit they've had to contend with recently. The company has recently been sued over Modern Warfare character Mara (opens in new tab), as well as a lawsuit from a webgame called Warzone. (opens in new tab)

A fresh writer in the industry, Mollie has been taken under PC Gamer's RGB-laden wing, making sure she doesn't get up to too much mischief on the site. She's not quite sure what a Command & Conquer is, but she can rattle on for hours about all the obscure rhythm games and strange MMOs from the 2000s. She's been cooking up all manner of news, previews and features while she's been here, but especially enjoys when she gets to write about Final Fantasy, Persona, The Sims, and whatever other game she's currently hopelessly fixated on. There's a good chance she's boring another PC Gamer writer about her latest obsession as we speak.