Worlds.com, creator of technology for online 3D virtual environments, on December 24 sued MMOG (massively multiplayer online game) developer NCsoft over infringement of patent 7,181,690 ("System and Method for Enabling Users to Interact in a Virtual Space"), which was granted to Worlds in February 2007. Among NCsoft's games is City of Heroes, which the company is bringing to the Mac with the help of Transgaming's Cider technology.
City of Heroes from NCSoft
According to the complaint, which was filed in United States District Court in Tyler, Texas, Worlds believes "it is likely that the evidence will show that the acts of infringement of NCSoft have occurred with knowledge of the '690 Patent and are willful and deliberate." In addition to a permanent injunction against NCsoft, Worlds wants a financial award of damages and reimbursement for its legal fees. The company is asking for a jury trial.
Worlds also owns patent 6,219,045, "Scalable virtual world chat client-server system." It has not announced any legal action in conjunction with that patent.
NCsoft has not publicly responded to the lawsuit yet. It is unknown at this time if the legal action will delay the release of City of Heroes on the Mac. The game is currently in Beta.