Jessica M. Karmasek Oct. 21, 2014, 1:45pm

MARSHALL, Texas (Legal Newsline) - Texas-based Multiplayer Network Innovations LLC continues to sue over a patent that allows people to play games over a wireless network.


MNI, described in the complaint only as a Texas limited liability company, filed five more lawsuits last week. That makes about 30 lawsuits filed over the same patent -- U.S. Patent No. 5,618,045 -- since August.


This time, MNI is going after Activision Blizzard Inc., Iron Galaxy Studios LLC, Tecmo Koei Games Co. Ltd., Tencent Holdings Ltd. and the popular Electronic Arts Inc., also known as EA Games.


MNI filed the lawsuits, and about 20 other similar suits, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The federal court has become a popular venue for patent infringement cases because of its set of local rules for such cases and rather fast trial settings.


According to the suits, the ‘045 patent was issued to MNI in 1997 for an Interactive Multiple Player Game System and Method of Playing a Game Between at Least Two Players.


The patent is described more specifically as follows:


“An interactive multiple player game system comprising at least two playing devices communicating over an ad-hoc, wireless, all-to-all broadcast network, a playing device including: (a) a processor for running a game scenario common to all of said at least two playing devices; (b) a player controlled interface for enabling a player action within said game scenario; (c) a transmitter connected to said player controlled interface, said transmitter transmitting said player action over said network; (d) a receiver connected to said processor, said receiver receiving player actions from said at least one other playing device transmitting over said network; (e) a display for displaying at least a portion of said game scenario; and (f) a clock, said clock of a second playing device being synchronized with said clock of a first playing device.”


MNI claims the patent was invented by Dr. Michael Kagan, a noted scholar and inventor who also holds a doctorate in chemistry from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and Ian Solomon, an inventor and entrepreneur who is the co-founder of medical device makers SteadyMed Therapeutics Inc. and Aespira Ltd.


According to the suits, during the mid-1990s, Kagan and Solomon conceived of a way for electronic devices to communicate with one another for the playing of computer games.


“Dr. Kagan and Mr. Solomon’s idea was conceived in part against the backdrop of the conflicts in the Middle East,” the suits state. “The idea was to use wirelessly connected gaming devices to open up channels of communication between people with divergent views.”


MNI claims the inventions have useful applications in various fields, including video gaming hardware and software, smartphone hardware and software, and casino gaming hardware and software, among others.


“Leading technology companies including Microsoft Corporation, Apple Inc., Intel Corporation, Google Corporation and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., have cited the MNI patent numerous times,” the company wrote, noting that more than 325 issued U.S. patents cite the MNI patent.


Among those allegedly infringing products: Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified, Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends, Rock Band Reloaded, Divekick, QQ Games and WeChat including QQ Mahjong, QQ Backgammon and QQ Landlords.


MNI is seeking compensatory damages no less than a reasonable royalty, interest, costs and other relief to which it may be entitled. A jury trial is demanded.


The company -- for which a website could not be found, nor its exact physical location -- is being represented by Gladewater, Texas-firm Capshaw DeRieux LLP and Russ August & Kabat in Los Angeles.


Among those other companies being sued by MNI for allegedly infringing the ‘045 patent: LG Electronics, Microsoft, Nintendo, Pantech, Acer, HTC Corporation and Barnes & Noble.


From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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