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mattheaton

Member Since 17 Jul 2011
Offline Last Active Jul 12 2013 10:58 AM

Topics I've Started

Patent trolls attacking small indie developers

09 July 2013 - 05:29 PM

Well this past week I've encountered a completely new challenge or annoyance to game development, besides designing, building, promoting and marketing a game. The attack of the patent trolls...

 

Last Friday I discovered a legal packet from one Treehouse Avatar Technologies saying I was in violation of their patents and threatening litigation if I didn't submit to licensing terms. The patent itself is one of those patents that should never have been issued, but well, we've got a fucked up patent system. More or less is patents the storing of game character information in a database and displaying it in a user interface over a network. 

http://www.google.com/patents/US8180858

Treehouse also made waves by filing a lawsuit against Turbine the makers of the Lord of the Rings Online over this patent back in the fall and I can only assume is doing the same with any developer/publisher in the MMO industry. 

http://www.joystiq.com/2012/10/12/tr...atent-granted/

What is a head scratcher is how I'm even on their radar given my size. My only guess they are trying to shakedown some small game developers and intimidate them into licensing or settlement to rack up a few easy wins to fund going after the big guys.

 

In the past two days I've heard from at least three other small game developers that have received the same threat of litigation from Treehouse.  Pretty disgusted by the whole thing.  

 

I went public with the whole thing in hopes that other small game developers who might be intimidated by the letter and just roll over to their bullshit demands will come forward.

 

http://gamepolitics.com/2013/07/08/treehouse-targets-indie-studio-threat-patent-infringement-lawsuit

 

http://www.reddit.com/r/gamedev/comments/1hvlnb/patent_troll_threatens_small_game_developers/

 

James Fudge, the editor of GamePolitics and part of the ECA is trying to identify other developers that have received these threats.  If you have you can contact him at james(at)theeca(dot)com


Starpires

17 July 2011 - 07:27 PM

Hi everyone, I wanted to post a game I've been working on for the past six month.

Back in the early 90's I was totally addicted to a BBS doors game called Solar Realms Elite. It was a turn based empire building, resource management game set in space. I always wanted to make an modern MMO version of it. I started working on it several times over the last decade but could never find the time to finish it. Being unemployed the last several months gave me plenty of time to turn my idea into reality.

I just launched it as a beta at http://starpires.com

I'd love to get your feedback, not just on the game itself but ideas about how to market and spread it.

Posted Image Posted Image


Thanks

-Matt

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