Activision Publishing, a unit of videogame publisher Activision Blizzard Inc. in Santa Monica, has defeated an infringement suit involving two patents for lip synchronization of animated characters.
The suit was one of more than 20 filed in January by visual effects company McRO Inc. of Santa Monica, which does business as Planet Blue. Although some said the alleged the suits were an example of patent trolling, the suits claimed that videogame makers -- including Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Inc. of Burbank and Disney Interactive Studios Inc. in Glendale -- infringed on two of McRO’s patents.
U.S. District Judge George H. Wu in Los Angeles granted Activision’s and all other defendants’ requests that the cases be dismissed this week. He found that the two patents were abstract ideas that weren’t patentable.
Activision Blizzard’s chief legal officer Chris Walther said in a statement that the suit was “meritless” and had the potential to “stifle innovation and the creative process across the industry.”
“We will aggressively defend our investments in the innovative franchises at Activision Publishing and Blizzard Entertainment…from entities whose sole purpose is to use patent litigation to hold innovative companies captive for monetary gain,” Walther said.
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