• EA Sued by White Knuckle IP for Patent Infringement

    White Knuckle IP, LLC has sued Electronic Arts claiming that the company infringed on their 2002 patent that described a methodology where sports games would be updated based on real-life events during a season. The accused products include NCAA Football 10-14 and Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 10-14. In the complaint, White Knuckle did not indicate any specific offending feature(s).

    The original patent by White Knuckle IP, LLC in 2002 reflected a time when console games could not be updated easily, however patches/updates existed for PC gaming before 2002.

    While NCAA Football included updated uniforms and field art, it is unknown what mid-season updates the Tiger Woods PGA TOUR franchise included. It seems that White Knuckle may be targeting these franchises as they would appear in some regards to be defunct - NCAA Football on hiatus at best (discontinued at worst) with Tiger Woods PGA TOUR skipping a 2014 calendar release to rebrand itself in 2015 as simply EA SPORTS PGA TOUR.

    A true player and stadium/arena mid-season update system is included in almost every current sports title published today (by numerous publishers) and many with larger sales numbers than NCAA Football or Tiger Woods PGA TOUR. Perhaps the plaintiffs felt the need to attempt to reach a decision or settlement with these franchises before a potential statute of limitations was reached.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: EA Sued by White Knuckle IP for Patent Infringement started by cdj View original post
    Comments 10 Comments
    1. souljahbill's Avatar
      souljahbill -
      I read this yesterday on Joystiq. How dumb!
    1. SmoothPancakes's Avatar
      SmoothPancakes -
      Hooray making blind grabs at money!
    1. steelerfan's Avatar
      steelerfan -
      Dear Fellow TGT'ers:

      Sorry, guys. I admit it. I am behind all of this. In fact, as should be obvious, I drew that VERY professional schematic shown in Figure 1 on a bar napkin when heavily intoxicated.

      Just trying to make a buck. My bad.


      PS So you all know that I had good intentions, I was planning to use a portion of the profits to create a job for my friend ram29jackson which would allow him to finally move out of his mother's house after more than 50 years. Selfishly, however, the rest of the money was going to be used on hallucinogens and young Eastern European whores in Amsterdam. I hope you can forgive me.

    1. SmoothPancakes's Avatar
      SmoothPancakes -

    1. psuexv's Avatar
      psuexv -
    1. JeffHCross's Avatar
      JeffHCross -
      The patent system is so broken.
    1. cdj's Avatar
      cdj -
      More from Game Informer:

      We reached out to White Knuckle LLC via a listed number that is also associated with a number of unrelated businesses. We discovered that this was a home number owned by attorney Andrew Hansen, whom we were able to speak with. Hansen is an attorney at intellectual property firm Workman Nydegger in Utah, which is involved in the case. He is also associated with White Knuckle more closely. "I'm affiliated with the company," he says. "It's pretty informal. My role is 'company counsel.'"

      According to Hansen, White Knuckle Gaming is the parent company of White Knuckle IP, which holds the patent. "The focus of White Knuckle IP is to license to EA Sports," Hansen tells us. "EA Sports knows about us. We've sent them certified mail letters. They just ignore us."

      Hansen couldn't tell us if White Knuckle had reached out to other companies to license the patent, as these matters might come up in litigation. He also clarified that the request to be awarded EA's profits on these nine games is "boilerplate" (standardized text). "I copied and pasted a complaint from another case," he says. "It's just a lawsuit for patent infringement."

      Hansen describes himself as an entrepreneur. The unrelated businesses at his address (Roman Cement LLC, HB Biotech LLC, Voodoo Gaming LLC, Pear LLC, and Xenocor LLC) are tied to his interest in other fields, including medical devices. Hansen says that Voodoo Gaming LLC holds other patents and is not involved in this case.

      Voodoo's patents include a mechanism for managing fantasy football drafts, importing geographically specific advertising into games, and communication between fantasy sports leagues and sports video games. Patents unrelated to gaming include details for searching private social network data and filings related to cement.

      We were unable to discern any products or services that White Knuckle has produced. The company has no website, nor does it have contact information beyond Hansen’s home.

      When reached, EA declined to comment.
    1. SmoothPancakes's Avatar
      SmoothPancakes -
      So basically, it's nothing more than this one moron creating fake companies (existing in name only) and creating various patents so that he can then sue for free money at a later date. I remember now why I hate lawyers and why this country's patent system is a goddamn joke.

    1. AustinWolv's Avatar
      AustinWolv -
      Quote Originally Posted by SmoothPancakes View Post
      So basically, it's nothing more than this one moron creating fake companies (existing in name only) and creating various patents so that he can then sue for free money at a later date. I remember now why I hate lawyers and why this country's patent system is a goddamn joke.

      Amusing side story...... I know a fellow mechanical engineer who watches the tech and gaming industry.......then trademarks various names and catch phrases in order to try to get companies to buy the rights to the names. (Kind of like the people that were registering domains with athlete's names and then sitting on them, in order to get the athlete to buy the domain name from them.) Sony cut him a 20-25k check one time.......can't recall which game or item it was........

      I know he created a legit side business with his wire creating custom handsewn Little Big Planet characters.
    1. Rudy's Avatar
      Rudy -
      This crap just makes me hate the ridiculous laws and legal system scams out there.