CEO Thom Kidrin of Worlds.com is planning to sue the creators of Second Life and World of Warcraft on the premise that he holds the patent to online multi-player gaming once he’s done with Korean-based NCSoft. Just like grandpa always said, “If you can’t beat ‘em, sue ‘em!”
Of course, Kidrin doesn’t make grandiose claims like he invented multi-player gaming, the Internet or the question mark. Worlds.com actually inherited the patent from the Starlight Starbright Foundation that created a virtual world for sick kids back in the 90s.
The patent is titled a System and Method for Enabling Users to Interact in a Virtual Space and stretches back to 1995. The patent was filed in the course of building the Starbright World that didn’t see much press because it was only intended for sick kids.
The initial suit against Korean-based NCSoft, creator of City of Heroes and Guild Wars, was filed in an east Texas court. That jurisdiction is infamous for protecting plaintiffs’ intellectual property rights.
What inspired Kidrin to start making wild claims to protect a vague patent 14 years later you ask? Why the answer, of course, is money.
This is the first time most people have heard of Worlds.com and it has little to do with the company’s actual product. Since the Worlds.com business model doesn’t seem to be taking off, Kidrin has to earn a living somehow.
So, he will sue anyone and everyone that he possibly can to force them into a licensing negotiation. Thom claims that he doesn’t intend to put anyone out of business.
We can only assume that this is a loud and voluminous legal shakedown intended to take revenue from other, more successful, entrepreneurs. What a great new business idea Thom! Please let us know how that works out for you.