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The End Of 3D As We Know It
May 3rd 2001, 16:47 CEST by Gabe Kruger

There is another patent to add to the long, sad list of stupid patents: <a href="http://www.worlds.com">Worlds.com</a> has been issued a patent covering the use of avatars in an online 3D world. It also appears they may have tried to patent the concept of client-server while they were at it. Check out a story <a href="http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,43490,00.html">here</a> or the patent itself <a href="http://www.delphion.com/details?&pn=US06219045__&s_clms=1#clms">here</a>.
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Home » Topic: The End Of 3D As We Know It

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#1 by "deadlock"
2001-05-03 16:53:32
deadlock@eircom.net
I don't get it... what exactly does this patent prevent developers from doing ? The Wired article seems very vague...

deadlock
#2 by "Matt Gallant"
2001-05-03 16:54:03
mg@tmbg.org http://truemeaningoflife.com
I HATE THAT.
#3 by "Paparazzi"
2001-05-03 17:00:00
tom187@dingoblue.net.au
Who is the first person that ever made a computer game?
They should patent the concept. Make a bit of money for themselves and totally screw the world over. Might as well. Everyone else is doing it.

....

#4 by "Jove"
2001-05-03 17:05:12
clan_dsq@hotmail.com www.jove.8k.com
Thinking...
#5 by "Darren Coleman"
2001-05-03 17:17:42
durzel@barrysworld.com http://www.superficial.net
Thinking...
#6 by "Xaroc"
2001-05-03 17:21:28
They patented a method to help bandwidth concerns by limiting the actual number of people you see on screen.  No self respecting computer game does this.  If 20 people are within your viewing distance you see 20 people.  This technology sounds like even if there are 20 people in your viewing distance and you set your preferences to 10 you would only see 10 people.  I don't see them getting very far with this.

-- Xaroc
#7 by "Martin"
2001-05-03 17:34:53
martin@theplace.nu
I weep for the species.
#8 by "PHroot"
2001-05-03 17:35:15
phroot@ntlworld.com
This sucks donkey cock.
#9 by "Anonymous"
2001-05-03 17:42:08
Thinking...
#10 by "Sgt Hulka"
2001-05-03 17:46:06
Sgt_Hulka@Hulka.com http://www.hulka.com
Did Jeff Bozo ever get his "One-Click" patent?  That freak!
#11 by "deadlock"
2001-05-03 17:49:36
deadlock@eircom.net
Someone should patent verbal masturbation. Scott ?

:P

deadlock
#12 by "Sgt Hulka"
2001-05-03 17:58:19
Sgt_Hulka@Hulka.com http://www.hulka.com
Has anyone patented the patent process?  There's an opportunity for one of you!

I saw we ban all bans! Down with Protests!  All men are created equal, well, except for you shorty.
#13 by "Woo-Fu"
2001-05-03 18:11:58
random1@speakeasy.org http://random1-1.dsl.speakeasy.net
While this tech may sound stupid for games, it'd be great for real life.

/me adjusts the idiot slider bar to 0

they might be there, but now I'll never notice. muahahahaha.



"I'm ready to tell you my secret...   I see dumb people!"
#14 by "None-1a"
2001-05-03 18:12:20
none1a@home.com http://www.geocities.com/none-1a
Egad I was browsing aroudn the U.S. References links for this patent and take a look at this wopper issued in 2000.
#15 by "szcx"
2001-05-03 18:42:23
szcx@bersirc.com http://www.leslienassar.com/
Did Jeff Bozo ever get his "One-Click" patent? That freak!

Yes, and Apple licensed it from Amazon.
#16 by "Sgt Hulka"
2001-05-03 18:47:31
Sgt_Hulka@Hulka.com http://www.hulka.com
In Post 15, szcx spewed forth the following;
"
Did Jeff Bozo ever get his "One-Click" patent? That freak!

Yes, and Apple licensed it from Amazon."


That's just amazing.  I'm applying for the Uno-Presso patent then!
#17 by "szcx"
2001-05-03 18:50:17
szcx@bersirc.com http://www.leslienassar.com/
A plurality of users can interact in the three-dimensional, computer-generated graphical space where each user executes a client process to view a virtual world from the perspective of that user.

Just like Quake.

The virtual world shows avatars representing the other users who are neighbors of the user viewing the virtual world.

Just like Quake.

In order that the view can be updated to reflect the motion of the remote user's avatars, motion information is transmitted to a central server which provides position updates to client processes for neighbors of the user at that client process.

Just like Quake.

The client process also uses an environment database to determine which background objects to render as well as to limit the movement of the user's avatar.

Just like Quake.


Patent applied for Nov. 12, 1996

Not like Quake (QTest released Feb. 24, 1996)
#18 by "Gabe"
2001-05-03 18:53:59
gakruger@hotmail.com http://www.refracted.com
#17 "szcx" wrote...

Not like Quake (QTest released Feb. 24, 1996)

I was also thinking that Doom probably could qualify as prior art as well.

-- Gabe
#19 by "szcx"
2001-05-03 18:58:14
szcx@bersirc.com http://www.leslienassar.com/
I was also thinking that Doom probably could qualify as prior art as well.

I used Quake because Doom would have resulted in certain people bitching about Doom being 2.5d and how 3DRealms sucks because DNF isn't out yet ;-)
#20 by "Ozymandis"
2001-05-03 19:03:04
ask
LOL this is too funny.
#21 by "deadlock"
2001-05-03 19:04:27
deadlock@eircom.net
#17 "szcx" wrote...
Not like Quake (QTest released Feb. 24, 1996)

And how long was Quake in development for before that ? Or would it only count from when id first managed to get two players to see each other and communicate using the console chat function ?

I'm confused...

deadlock
#22 by "szcx"
2001-05-03 19:08:06
szcx@bersirc.com http://www.leslienassar.com/
I'm confused...

Me too.  Normally I'd say this is a prime example of how broken the patent system and how software patents.  Normally.  But there happens to be one with my name on it in the pipeline right now ;-)
#23 by "Cilan"
2001-05-03 19:10:29
So long as the law is on their side, there are no moral implications.  Legality implies moral immunity, after all
#24 by "deadlock"
2001-05-03 19:12:35
deadlock@eircom.net
#22 "szcx" wrote...
But there happens to be one with my name on it in the pipeline right now ;-)

Care to fill us in ? Or is it a secret ? It wouldn't happen to be a voweless language by any chance ? :)

deadlock
#25 by "szcx"
2001-05-03 19:15:28
szcx@bersirc.com http://www.leslienassar.com/
It wouldn't happen to be a voweless language by any chance ? :)

It involves a duck, a hose, and a tiny bread oven... that's all I can say about it.
#26 by "The Joker"
2001-05-03 19:20:55
joker@junkextreme.com http://www.junkextreme.com
What people don't do today to make more money.

Heck, if someone out there decides to patent jerking off I'll be in big trouble. I'd better do it mys....oops...

Joker, Ph.D. Procedural Assholian Behavior.
- All your ass are belong to my wang, JafD! Prepare to are penetration!
#27 by "Jadawin"
2001-05-03 19:21:13
So long as the law is on their side, there are no moral implications. Legality implies moral immunity, after all


Since when?
#28 by "Ergo"
2001-05-03 19:33:03
stu@dsl-only.net
#27 "Jadawin" wrote...
So long as the law is on their side, there are no moral implications. Legality implies moral immunity, after all


Since when?

I think he was being sarcastic.
#29 by "Gunp01nt"
2001-05-03 20:01:32
supersimon33@hotmail.com http://planetp01nt.tmfweb.nl
Legality implies moral immunity, after all

Either that or a really expensive lawyer.
#30 by "Narcopolo"
2001-05-03 20:38:38
Maybe the Brits can fill us in better-  were software patents just rejected there or for all of Europe?

It's pretty disheartening to see software patents go forward at all.  Now that the Internet land grab is over, perhaps pressure can be brought on Congress to rethink the whole online first come first served forever thing.  Competition isn't a Constitutional right, but it's clearly best for the country.  

But that might be too liberal an attitude for the current bought and paid for legislature.  As in, "A liberal is someone whose interests aren't at stake at the moment."
#31 by "deadlock"
2001-05-03 21:14:04
deadlock@eircom.net
#26 "The Joker"
Heck, if someone out there decides to patent jerking off I'll be in big trouble. I'd better do it mys....oops...

I was going to make a similar joke, but opted instead for a less obvious dig at Scott. Which, in retrospect was fairly obvious.

#27 "Jadawin"
Since when?

Dammit, Cilan, if we have to warn you about those bloody sarcasm tags again, you're out, right ?

deadlock
#32 by "Jadawin"
2001-05-03 21:50:11
#27 "Jadawin"

Since when?

Dammit, Cilan, if we have to warn you about those bloody sarcasm tags again, you're out, right ?

deadlock


Damn!
#33 by "frodo156"
2001-05-03 21:56:19
frodo156.geo@yahoo.com
None-1a (#14):
Egad I was browsing aroudn the U.S. References links for this patent and take a look at this wopper issued in 2000.

I think my brain exploded when I tried to make sense of that link.

#34 by "frodo156"
2001-05-03 22:01:44
frodo156.geo@yahoo.com
szcx (#17):
...Not like Quake (QTest released Feb. 24, 1996)


ripped from Wired article:
In 1994, KA developed a 3-D chat client, called Worlds Chat, where chatters were embodied with avatars that could interact with each other. The images were animated, and the graphics required high bandwidth and fast processor speeds. So KA developed a way to significantly reduce the amount of information that had to be sent from the servers to the chatting clients


Unfortunately they have Quake beat by two years. But there is still Doom...
#35 by "deadlock"
2001-05-03 22:05:01
deadlock@eircom.net
#34 "frodo156"
Unfortunately they have Quake beat by two years. But there is still Doom...

Yeah, but the patent was applied for two years later, after Quake was released. Patent laws suck, you shouldn't be able to apply for a patent after your product has more or less run its' course.

deadlock
#36 by "frodo156"
2001-05-03 22:08:00
frodo156.geo@yahoo.com
Sorry about the multiple post but heres a thought for you:

Wired article:

While some feared that Worlds.com would try to enforce its patent against first-person shooters like Quake and Unreal, the company is more likely to go after role-playing games such as EverQuest and Asheron's Call.

EverQuest is "first on the list," according to Thom Kidren, CEO of Worlds.com. "I couldn't honestly answer where we will go with this, but EverQuest is a top contender for evaluation of their technology to see if it matches what is defined in this patent."


From the week and a half I played Everquest, I recall a first person mode. So couldn't EQ be considered a First Person Slasher/Shooter with a little more character interaction than Quake/Unreal?
#37 by "None-1a"
2001-05-03 22:30:22
none1a@home.com http://www.geocities.com/none-1a
#33 "frodo156" wrote...
I think my brain exploded when I tried to make sense of that link.


The way I pieaced it together (I'll admit I'm probably wrong) was that the guy holds the patent for a networked games for  consoles. The way it sounds it cover Gameboy's link cable, Sony's PSX link cable, Sega's Dreamcast modem, X-Box networking adapter, and Sony's upcomming adapter, it also seams to cover present worlds as well (syncing data when it doesn't match the server). Of course if you continue folloing the reference links Namco own the patent on that (as seen here) or go even father and it looks like Atari owns the rights (as seen here characters entering and leaving the game with out effecting the others) or David Sitrick (as seen here). There are a lot more that sound really close, and could be used for many, many current games.

In short the patent office has no damn clue about video games and things related to them, thus allows damn near every thing even tho some of it conflicts with pervious patents.
#38 by "Pacer Dawn"
2001-05-03 22:56:42
pacerdawn@iname.com
#37 "None-1a" wrote...
In short the patent office has no damn clue about video games and things related to them, thus allows damn near every thing even tho some of it conflicts with pervious patents.

That is what I think.  Despite being in homes for nearly the last 20+ years, computers are still a great mystery to society due to their complexity.  As such, I would wager that the people who approve the patents have no idea how computers work, which is why we are seeing all these rediculous computer based patents being claimed and gotten.

"Hrumph, I don't understand what these young whippersnappers are talking about, but I don't want to look like I don't know this, so I'll just approve it."

I'm quite sure they would not allow a company like, say, Pepsi to patent the "flavoring of water so that it creates a totally unique taste to the drinker", but they seem to do identical things constantly in the computer field.  Just think what would have happened if, back in the early 80's, someone had patented the display of more than 4 colors to a computer monitor.  We are getting dangerously close to that these days.

I still do not understand this patent completely.  It says a lot about patenting virtual worlds and using avatars to interact with others, but it also says limiting the number of those avatars you can see (clipping plane?) at any time.  So is that all it covers?  I can have a 3D world and avatars, as long as I don't hide any avatars?
#39 by "Vengeance"
2001-05-03 23:25:04
Omg, whats next? A peanut butter sandwich?


164.195.100.11/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=/netahtml/srchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1='6,004,596'.WKU.&OS=PN/6,004,596&RS=PN/6,004,596

#40 by "szcx"
2001-05-03 23:33:27
szcx@bersirc.com http://www.leslienassar.com/
Unfortunately they have Quake beat by two years. But there is still Doom...

IANAL, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter what they had done earlier, they didn't apply for the patent until 1996.  You can't develop something, wait a few years to see if anyone else does something similar, then apply for the patent.  That would be like id saying "you know, hardware accelerated shooters sure are popular now, maybe we should patent it and use it to extort cash from Scott Miller for all those Duke games..."
#41 by "Glock"
2001-05-03 23:57:59
glock@avpnews.com www.avpnews.com
That's precisely what RAMBUS did, and they are getting bit in the ass over it.
#42 by "None-1a"
2001-05-04 00:02:52
none1a@home.com http://www.geocities.com/none-1a
#38 "Pacer Dawn" wrote...
I still do not understand this patent completely. It says a lot about patenting virtual worlds and using avatars to interact with others, but it also says limiting the number of those avatars you can see (clipping plane?) at any time. So is that all it covers? I can have a 3D world and avatars, as long as I don't hide any avatars?


I don't know for sure but I think the courts would need to deside. The patent makes quite a few clames that could be interpreated in a number of ways (for example the clames about finding what to show in a room based on server info would include even 2d worlds like Habbo Hotel). The courts would need to deside what about this patent makes it so special rather then simaly an abrtract idea (the reason many of those I linked to before have never really been enforced).

If they deside the virtual world section is the core of worlds.com's patent you couldn't use it, if they desided hideing avatars is the core you could still develop virtual worlds with out a need for a licence. This will come up if they go after MS or Sony for AC and Everquest since both use totaly different meathods then this to reduce the number of avatars on screen.

this is probably the single bigest problem with the patent system. You don't know while looking if the court would rule that one of the vage clames are important to the patent. Sure if it's gone to court before I can look at those records, but since some companies tend to wait untill the last minute then try to take every case that poped up to court I couldn't tell before developing my new thingy.
#43 by "Topaz"
2001-05-04 00:10:44
What's the minimal cost it takes to defend yourself in court? Could you go after everyone with a patent with the intent of settling out of court for a small amount of money? Get enough people and maybe you end up with a nice little profit?
#44 by "szcx"
2001-05-04 00:24:17
szcx@bersirc.com http://www.leslienassar.com/
That's precisely what RAMBUS did, and they are getting bit in the ass over it.

I was under the impression that Rambus already had a patent pending before joining JEDEC.  The reason it's hitting the fan is that Rambus submitted its standard to the group without disclosing that the patents existed (which is against the JEDEC rules).  So when JEDEC approved it as standard, the other members went ahead and start manufacturing to the new standard.

Nobody was producing ram to the Rambus standard before the patent was applied for, whereas companies were certainly populating 3D worlds before World.com's patent application was lodged.  So the cases are a little different.  I think we can all agree however that Scott Miller is the anti-christ and Sgt. Hulka is really a woman.
#45 by "Darkseid-D!"
2001-05-04 00:37:39
Darkseid@captured.com www.sluggy.com
uhm Glock ..

the original Duke 3d didnt use any 3d acceleration ...



Ds
#46 by "Vandal"
2001-05-04 00:45:17
tomcat@powersurfr.com http://www.gamersclick.com
But it did come in boobyvision, which accounts for something. I didn't read the article, but I can't imagine this patent holding up - the premise is just stupid. I can't see them issuing a patent on something that has been done for years... but that's the US government for ya ;p
#47 by "frodo156"
2001-05-04 00:47:52
frodo156.geo@yahoo.com
szcx (#44):
Nobody was producing ram to the Rambus standard before the patent was applied for, whereas companies were certainly populating 3D worlds before World.com's patent application was lodged. So the cases are a little different.

Not only that, but if someone even comes up with the IDEA for something like avatars, it doesn't matter if you actually created it first, the intellectual property is owned by the person who came up with the idea. By that I mean if PC Gamer stated in 1991 "Hey wouldn't it be cool if there was a game that hundreds of people could play on-line and interact with eachother through the use of avatars?" When my uncle was applying for a patent, he had to search through hundreds of thousands of records to see if anything like his idea had ever been published. And IIRC (IANAL) if someone came up with the idea and marketed it before your application was complete, the application was void. However I may have pulled that out my arse.
#48 by "frodo156"
2001-05-04 00:54:36
frodo156.geo@yahoo.com
#47
One more thing: A friend of mine lent me a book where the internet had become a place kinda like the matrix, except people knew they were there and they could come and go at any time. It was used for precisly the same things Worlds.com is used for. I belive the book is called Snow Crash. I'll get more info when I see my friend tonight at work. If the copyright on the book is pre '96, Worlds.com doesn't have a legal leg to stand on, unless of course they contacted the author of the book and got his permission.
#49 by "Darkseid-D!"
2001-05-04 01:06:46
Darkseid@captured.com www.sluggy.com
Ohmigawsh ..

Neal Stephenson`s SnowCrash .. with Hiro Protagonist and the coolest pizza delivery car...

Im gonna have to dig that book up and read it again.


you do realise thats what John Carmack was angling at when he wanted to work on an online permanent metaverse.


Ds
#50 by "Glock"
2001-05-04 01:48:58
glock@avpnews.com www.avpnews.com
uhm Glock ..

the original Duke 3d didnt use any 3d acceleration ...


Your confusing me with someone else.  I didn' say anything about D3D whatsoever.
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