Thursday, November 18, 2004

GAMING INDUSTRY BECOMING LARGER TARGET: While computer game fans shell out tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars for the latest shoot-em-up release, a little-known patent holder is hoping to make a different kind of computer game killing.

American Video Graphics (AVG), a Marshall, Texas, limited partnership, has wielded its arsenal of seven patents related to the display of 3D computer graphics to sue a who's who of companies in the computer game industry.

Defendants in the three suits, filed Aug. 23 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern Division of Texas, Tyler Division, range from game makers (Nintendo, Sega, Atari and Activision) to entertainment companies (LucasArts and Vivendi) to hardware vendors (Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Dell and Gateway) to consumer electronics companies (Sony, Fujitsu, JVC, Sharp, Matsushita and Toshiba).

Many of the complaints stem from those companies' distribution of Microsoft's 3D software with the Windows operating system. Microsoft also is named in the complaint, specifically for its Xbox computer game system.

(J. Goedken)

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