Firm Files Patent Lawsuit Against Activision Blizzard, Zynga

An invention firm started by Priceline.com founder Jay Walker has filed a lawsuit against two large computer gaming companies, Activision Blizzard and Zynga, alleging that some of their most popular games infringe on an online tournament patent.

Walker Digital, in a complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, alleged that a number of games offered by the two companies infringe a July 2002 patent related to online tournaments. Patent No. 6,425,828 is for a database-driven online distributed tournament system.

The Activision Blizzard games that infringe the patent, according to the complaint, including World of Warcraft and three add-on games, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops, and DJ Hero 2.

The Zynga games named in the complaint include Mafia Wars, Fashion Wars and Special Forces.

Walker Digital is seeking monetary damages in the lawsuit. The amount of damages wasn't named in the nine-page complaint.

Representatives of Activision Blizzard and Zynga didn't immediately respond to requests for comment on the lawsuit. Walker Digital also did not respond to a request for comments.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

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