Worlds Inc. and Linden Labs Settle Lawsuit

Worlds Inc. and Linden Research announce a settlement has been reached World's lawsuit over Second Life, claiming infringement on U.S. Patent No. 7,181,690, entitled "System and Method for Enabling Users to Interact in a Virtual Space" (the "’690 Patent"). This also has the latest on a similar lawsuit filed by Worlds last year against Microsoft over potential infringement in Minecraft on U.S. Patent No. 8,082,501, also titled "System and Method for Enabling Users to Interact in a Virtual Space," though this is the "’501 Patent." Get out a yellow legal pad and take copious notes, as all of this will be on the test:
This lawsuit was filed by Worlds following its successful defense of the ‘690 Patent’s validity as challenged in Bungie, Inc.’s 2015 inter partes review petition. As noted at the outset of this litigation, Worlds Inc.’s CEO Thom Kidrin stated that Worlds intended to enforce its intellectual property rights against infringers, and that the lawsuit against Linden was a first step. As Kidrin noted, “the ‘690 Patent is fundamental to the functionality and success of numerous 3-D, computer-generated, graphical, multi-user, interactive virtual world systems and games that are enjoyed by millions of people globally. While we are excited by the popularity of these games, we want to ensure that we and our shareholders receive just compensation for the system and method we developed that helped make these types of products possible.”

Wayne Helge, lead counsel of Worlds’ litigation team at Davidson, Berquist, Jackson & Gowdey, LLP, commented, “We are happy that the parties have reached a mutually agreeable resolution of the patent infringement lawsuit filed in Delaware in 2019, and have asked the Court to dismiss that case.”

The settlement with Linden comes on the heels of an Order issued on April 30, 2021, by the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, where that court concluded that the asserted claims of World’s patents were invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Kidrin previously commented on this recent decision, saying, “We are obviously disappointed in the court’s decision, but we believe the ruling is contrary to the established law of section 101 as announced by the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.”

On May 7, 2021, Worlds and Microsoft jointly asked the Western District of Texas judge to stay their ongoing patent infringement litigation over another of Worlds’ patents, asserted against Microsoft’s Minecraft game until Worlds’ appeal of the Activision decision is concluded. On May 12, 2021, the judge granted that stay. Commenting on these recent events, Kidrin added, “The settlement with Linden confirms our belief of the fundamental importance of Worlds’ technology to such 3D video games and virtual reality experiences. We requested that our case against Microsoft be paused, because we disagree with the Massachusetts court’s ruling and will appeal it to the Federal Circuit.”