Are virtual worlds under legal threat? Lawyer Sean Kane notes that worlds.com is now claiming to have invented the idea for a “System and Method for Enabling Users to Interact in a Virtual Space” back in 1995, and has hired legal heavyweights to defend its claim to intellectual property.
Could this be a problem for Second Life, Sony’s PS3-based Home, and hundreds of other virtual worlds, totaling over half a billion dollars of investment? Kane would know better than anyone, he’s co-chair of the ABA’s committee on virtual worlds and the law. Kane:
This announcement is arguably a very thinly veiled notice to the virtual world industry that infringement suits are forthcoming for those companies who do not enter into a licensing deal with General Patent Corporation and Worlds.com.