Well, I really hope that they will not settle it out of court, though. Sometimes, it's good for big companies to just do it because they will have to pay either way: legal fees or licensing. And actually, for companies like Blizzard it could be a good strategy to allow these patents to exist. That way, this patent which is not even theirs, will still protect them from smaller competitors.
Let's just hope they go to court and invalidate this patent.
But as I said, what I don't understand is how come they get to re register an almost identical patent? So, in order to invalidate it, you need to show prior art before 96, yet they also have a much more recent patent that is almost identical. So what, they both get to claim a patent as early as 96 and yet still, maintain it for longer due to more recent ones? That's what I really don't get.
Is it yet another loopwhole in the US patent system that allows you to update your patent to keep it from expiring? Ridiculous.