Two game developers are attempting to bring Microsoft to court for patent infringement

Microsoft is accused of using two patents it had no rights to in the development of its game engines.

Photo via Robert Scoble/Flickr

Tech colossus Microsoft has been accused of infringing upon patents by two game developers that are now looking at taking the company to court.

Game developers Infernal Technology and Terminal Reality are claiming that Microsoft “willingly” infringed upon graphic settings the studios had developed and patented since 2005 in a suit filed on April 11. The technology specifically has to do with in-game lighting and shadows.

In the filing, Infernal Technology (which acquired the rights to the patents on June 24, 2014) claims that Microsoft was well aware that the patents belonged to the studio. Although Infernal Technology acknowledges that the patents were licensed out to third-party game developers prior to acquiring the patents, and Terminal Reality used them in multiple games developed for Microsoft—that the company continued to use the engine even after the patents were acquired by Infernal Technology.

The games Microsoft has developed with the infringed patents, according to Infernal Technology, concern nearly all major franchises Microsoft has developed for the Xbox. This includes the Unreal 4 engine, CryEngine, Halo 5: Guardians engine, as well as the engines of Playerunkown’s Battlegrounds, and Sea of Thieves.

Infernal Technology and Terminal Reality are now looking at taking Microsoft to court, and are also seeking compensation for what they claim as being “irreparably harmed by Defendant’s [Microsoft’s] infringing activities.”

The complaint was filed to the Eastern District of Texas, which necessitates that any attempt at bringing a party to court for patent litigation in the state requires that: “(1) the defendant resides, or (2) the defendant has committed acts of infringement and has a regular and established place of business in the state,” according to patent attorney Kirk Sigmon.

Microsoft is currently based out of Washington, which could only complicate matters further.

About the author

Sam Nordmark

Writer at @dotesports