U.S. Court of Appeals Upholds Federal District Court’s Invalidity Ruling on Patent-Eligible Subject Matter Relating to Worlds Inc.’s Patents

3/11, 2:01 PM (Source: GlobeNewswire)

Boston, MA, March 11, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has affirmed the District Court judgement from April 30, 2021 that the claims of Worlds Inc. (OTCQB: WDDD) asserted patents are invalid under 35 U.S.C. Section 101 (§ 101) as directed to ineligible subject matter. Worlds had asked this Court to reverse an adverse District Court judgment from April 30, 2021 that favored defendants Activision Blizzard Inc., Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., and Activision Publishing, Inc.

“We are obviously disappointed in the court’s decision, which issued almost 10 years to the day that Worlds filed its lawsuit against Activision,” Worlds CEO Thom Kidrin stated. “When Worlds filed its lawsuit against the Activision entities in 2012, challenges under § 101 were rare. In the last seven years, following the Supreme Court’s Alice decision, the patent landscape has shifted dramatically. Now, challenges under § 101 are much more common, and courts have recently ruled that inventions covering such tangible items as digital cameras and drive shafts are ineligible as abstract ideas or laws of nature. These results strongly indicate that the § 101 body of law needs refining.”

There are active requests to the Supreme Court to reconsider its Alice decision relative to patent eligibility. Patent Docs reported that “the Supreme Court has requested the views of the Solicitor General in its consideration of American Axle’s certiorari petition, which asks the Court to reverse the Federal Circuit’s decision in American Axle & Mfg. v. Neapco Holdings LLC. Several Justices felt it would be beneficial to their deliberations (regarding whether to grant certiorari) to hear what the Government has to say, in view of the Executive’s role in granting patents.” 1 The Supreme Court will decide whether to take up the case which – in a Federal Circuit judge’s words - bitterly divided the appellate court on how to apply the law on patent eligibility.2

Patent Docs notes, “The most immediate consequence is that it gives the Biden administration a chance to provide the Court (and the rest of us) with insights into how the administration views patent law in general and eligibility in particular. ”1 If the Court does hear arguments on the merits of the certiorari, it may provide some clarity on what constitutes patent-eligible subject matter.

It has been reported that the U.S. Solicitor General will file its position on changes needed in the law soon in response to the Supreme Court. Additionally, certain legislators have been pushing Congress for meaningful reform of § 101.

Next Steps

“Changes to section 101 are long overdue,” Kidrin stated. “We are closely monitoring these developments, and will be studying the Solicitor’s response on the Axle case, as it relates directly to our 101 invalidity ruling. Going forward, Worlds is keeping all options open for seeking further review, including the possibility of asking the Supreme Court to also review the adverse order against our claims.”

He added, “Worlds was ahead of its time in developing these technologies decades ago and has a vision for advancing virtual and augmented reality multiverses. We will soon announce how we are leveraging our origin in the metaverse and assets we have recently acquired to broaden our strategic focus and build a new legacy woven around immersive environments and related digital technologies.”

Background on World’s Patents and Litigation

World’s litigation against the Activision defendants which began in 2012 was stayed in 2015, while Worlds defended its patents against six validity challenges brought before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). Worlds’ patents all survived these challenges. In 2020, the litigation stay was lifted, and the parties progressed through extensive discovery until the District Court ruled that Worlds’ patents were invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101 as directed to patent-ineligible subject matter. The U.S. Court of Appeal affirmed the District Court ruling on March 10, 2022.

“Worlds created and patented the technology and network architecture that enabled us to create the first and longest continuously operating Metaverse, and the ability for players to interact in massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) ,” Kidrin noted. “Our intellectual property serves as the foundation for many of the most critically acclaimed games that dominate virtual reality online gaming today. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recognized the validity of our unique intellectual property when they issued the patents more than a decade ago. Our technology, which seems obvious because it is so widely used and taken for granted now, was novel and reported by the media as groundbreaking at that time. We strongly believe in the validity of our patents and their role in the development of the online gaming enjoyed by millions of people today. The passage of time and wide utilization of our technology should not diminish the validity of our intellectual property and the right to protect it against infringement.”

1Borella, Michael & Noonan, Kevin “Supreme Court Requests View of Solicitor General in American Axle v. Neapco.” Patent Doc,.JDSupra.com. May 4, 2021, https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/supreme-court-requests-view-of-5157835/,
2Luth, Sarah M.D., “Upcoming Issues of Patent Eligibility in 20222: American Axle v. Neapco. Lexology, January 3, 2022, https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=5f57d915-49df-4073-9a2f-132816b72047

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About Worlds Inc.

Worlds, Inc. (OTCQB: WDDD), is a leading intellectual property developer and licensee of patents related to 3-D metaverses. Worlds developed the technology that enabled the creation of the first and longest continuously operating 3-D virtual world and serves as the foundation for many of the massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs). The Company has a portfolio of 10 U.S. patents for multi-server technology for 3-D applications. The earliest of these patents issued on an application filed November 12, 1996. A provisional patent application, serial number 60/020,296, was filed on November 13, 1995. These patents are all related, and disclose and claim systems and methods for enabling users to interact in a virtual space. For additional information about Worlds, Inc., please visit: www.Worlds.com.

Contacts:
Media Relations: Julie Shepherd, Accentuate PR, 847_275_3643, julie@accentuatepr.com

Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains certain forward-looking statements and information relating to Worlds Inc. that are based on the beliefs of Worlds' management, as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to the Company. Such statements reflect the current views of the Company with respect to future events including estimates and projections about its business based on certain assumptions of its management, including those described in this Release. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risk and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. Additional risk factors are included in the Company’s public filings with the SEC. Should one or more of these underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein as “hoped,” “anticipated,” “believed,” “estimated,” “should,” “preparing,” “expected” or words of a similar nature. The Company does not intend to update these forward-looking statements.


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