Worlds.com, the patent troll company that claims to have invented a “System and Method for Enabling Users to Interact in a Virtual Space” back in 1995, could put every 3D online experience from Second Life to World of Warcraft under legal threat.
Now the company has found its first target: Korean gaming company NCsoft, producer of popular online games like City of Heroes and Guild Wars. Bad news for NCsoft (and good for worlds): The suit is being filed in the Eastern District of Texas.
Why East Texas? Two reasons: First, East Texan courts are notorious for being weighted towards plaintiffs in patent infringement lawsuits, something we’ve written about before when Nintendo (NTDOY) lost a $21 million case on the grounds its Gamecube controllers violated another company’s intellectual property.
And there’s a second reason, which hints at why a Korean company may have been the first to be targeted. As lawyers familiar with patent cases explain to Virtualworldsnews:
“Being a foreign defendant in Texas is not a pleasant thing,” he said of NCsoft, which is primarily a Korean company. “The juries are, many would say, biased towards American plaintiffs and have a propensity to offer high damages. Some defendants might view them as an unfriendly jury and it might make the defendant more likely to settle.”