Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Valve sued over online store patent

A lawsuit has been filed at the California District Court by Delaware based firm Olympic, which claims that  Sony, Nintendo, Valve and Microsoft have infringed on two copyrights concerning financial transactions made through their consoles and services.

Olympic, which filed the lawsuit on November 18 2010, has demanded an immediate injunction and a cash settlement with regards to the alleged infringement on two patents, firstly the ‘Transactional processing system’, referred to as the ‘585 patent, and secondly ‘Device for controlling remote interactive receiver’, referred to as the ‘400 patent.

The two patents essentially refer to two parts of the process where a user or customer is able to receive information via hardware products and to an online store, as well as being able to then instantly select a purchase with financial information stored on the device transmitting to be authorised, for example by the person’s bank, before being delivered instantly.

It is alleged that the defendants have infringed on the ‘585 patent, filed back in the early days of the internet on February 2 1994, and the ‘400 patent, granted on June 12 2001, which covers the process involved in such remote financial transactions.

“A video menu is sent to a receiver representing a list of the available products and services,” the ‘585 patent stipulates.

“The receiver contains a credit or debit card reader and transmits financial account information, as well as the selection from the menu, via a modem to a payment processor.”

The patent then covers the payment processor verification of the programming selection and account information before transmitting an authorisation signal to the vendor or service provider.

“The payment processor would verify financial account information and forward payment authorisation to a financial institution. The vendor, in turn sends the selected product to the consuser upon receiving payment from the financial institution.”

It is alleged that Microsoft’s Xbox and Xbox Marketplace Live constitutes a breach of the copyright “real-time authorisation of payments for a plurality of products and services made available by the transmitting source.”

The same is also said for Sony’s Playstation 3 and Playstation Store, and Nintendo’s Wii and Wii Shop.

For more information on how nature of the functions of the patents see here for ‘585 and here for ‘400.