Patent battle simmers in Virtual Worlds

A controversy is brewing over patent licensing plans by


A controversy is brewing over patent licensing plans by

The General Patent Corporation, which handles's patent licensing and enforcement, has hired the law office of Lerner David Littenberg Krumholz & Mentlik for its client.

No litigation plans were announced, but Virtual Worlds reported that GPC would be contacting other companies regarding "licensing opportunities" for its patents.

According to a General Patent press release, owns two patents that "relate to computer architecture for a three-dimensional graphical multi-user interactive virtual world system."

That could include "products from Second Life to World of Warcraft," says an unsigned post on the Virtual World News blog.

Sean Kane, who writes the Virtual Law blog at Virtual Judgement, described the announcement in a post yesterday as "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."

He added that "the potential impact of this announcement will definitely be worth watching for."

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