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Patents

Zynga and Blizzard Sued Over Game Patent 179

Posted by Soulskill
from the swinging-for-the-fences dept.
eldavojohn writes "Thinking about developing a game involving a 'database driven online distributed tournament system?' Well, you had better talk to Walker Digital or risk a lawsuit, because Walker Digital claims to have patented that 'invention' back in 2002. The patent in question has resulted in some legal matters for the makers of 'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 1 and 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Call of Duty: World at War, Blur, Wolfenstein, DJ Hero 2, Golden Eye 007, World of Warcraft and its expansions, Mafia Wars, and many others.' Walker Digital (parent company of Priceline.com) said it's not sure how much damages are going to be, and requested that through discovery in the court. If you think Walker Digital is not a patent troll, check out their lawsuit from two months ago against Facebook for using privacy controls Walker Digital claims to have patented. It would seem that any online competitive game that uses a database to select and reward contestants in a tournament could potentially fall under this patent — of course, those with the deepest coffers will be cherrypicked first."
Power

+ - GE Closes Last US Light Bulb Factory->

Submitted by pickens
pickens (49171) writes "The Washington Post reports that last major GE factory making ordinary incandescent light bulbs in the United States is closing this month, marking a small, sad exit for a product and company that can trace their roots to Thomas Alva Edison's innovations in the 1870s. What made the plant vulnerable is, in part, a 2007 energy conservation measure passed by Congress that set standards essentially banning ordinary incandescents by 2014 but rather than setting off a boom in the U.S. manufacture of replacement lights, the leading replacement lights are compact fluorescents, or CFLs, which are made almost entirely overseas. GE developed a plan to see what it would take to retrofit a plant that makes traditional incandescents into one that makes CFLs but even with a $40 million investment the new plant's CFLs would have cost about 50 percent more than those from China. "Everybody's jumping on the green bandwagon," says Pat Doyle, 54, who has worked at the plant for 26 years. But "we've been sold out. First sold out by the government. Then sold out by GE. ""
Link to Original Source
Microsoft

+ - Microsoft Zombies Dance on iPhone's Grave

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "If you're Microsoft, what do you do when grizzly ghouls from every tomb are closing in to seal your doom? TechFlash reports that Microsoft celebrated the completion and upcoming launch of Windows Phone 7 on Friday with a 'Windows Phone Pride Parade' complete with zombies, a 'Thriller' Dance, and pallbearers carrying a giant iPhone. 'These kind of 'ship' parties are common throughout the industry,' explained Microsoft communications VP Frank Shaw. 'It's a great way for teams that have worked overtime to create a kick-ass product blow off steam and have a little fun.' More pics at Technolog."

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