Because it wouldn’t be a regular week in Silicon Valley without someone suing someone else we’ve just learned that a company called GameTek LLC has filed suit against a number of major social gaming publishers and platforms over US Patent # 7076445: “System and methods for obtaining advantages and transacting the same in a computer gaming environment.” The lawsuit names 21 companies as defendants, including EA, Zynga, Facebook and Funzio.
The basis of the lawsuit is that the named companies have somehow violated GameTek’s patent over online virtual currency. The plaintiff is demanding a permanent injunction against the defendants, attorney’s fees and what we assume will be large punitive damages for violating the patent.
Now, here’s the part you’ve been waiting for since the beginning, because this wouldn’t be a lawsuit story without it. As far as we can tell GameTek LLC is engaged in no actual business and only exists for the purposes of this lawsuit. So, in case you’re scoring at home that means there is yet another company out there trying to score a fat payday from a bunch of companies with yet another bogus lawsuit. Sure, there’s a slim chance this is a legitimate claim and the very core of social gaming will be shaken once it’s all said and done, but that’s highly unlikely.
We reported a similar story earlier this week in which a couple lawyers were trying to get Facebook Credits declared illegal, but this one takes the cake. Here we have a company claiming that they invented virtual currency, and therefore anyone who mints digital coins owes them tribute. Good luck with that guys, try not to go bankrupt paying all the court fees and counter suits when this gets thrown out.