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Kiss lip lawsuit against Activision goodbye

Xav de Matos
September 25, 2014
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Activision Blizzard has announced that the United States District Court, Central District of California, has invalidated all patents claims made by McRO Inc., which conducts its business as a production and effects company called Planet Blue.

The claims sought financial restitution against Activision Blizzard for the use of methods related to "

automatically animating lip synchronization and facial expressions of 3D characters" that McRO had patented. Activision Blizzard filed a motion to dismiss the claim and to strip McRO of the patents, saying the patents "were invalid because they claimed well-known and long-practiced lip-synching methods implemented on a computer."



Following a precedent set by a Supreme Court decision June 2014, which invalidated patents in the case between Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International, the USDC agreed to cancel the two McRO-owned patents used in the claim.

The "Alice v. CLS' decision from the Supreme Court found that the patents in question were invalid because the claims were drawn from too abstract an idea. District Judge George H. Wu cited the Alice case in his decision against McRO.

"Meritless patent cases such as this stifle innovation and the creative process across the industry," Activision Blizzard's Chief Legal Officer, Chris Walther, said.

McRO Inc. is no stranger to enforcing its patents on the video game industry. The company filed claims against Electronic Arts, Activision, Disney, Sony, and THQ in 2013. While most companies decided to fight the claims, THQ settled to the tune of $600,000.


[Image: Activision Blizzard]








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