Priceline Parent Company Sues Microsoft, Sony

On August 8, 2011, Walker Digital, the parent company of Priceline.com, sued Microsoft Corp and three Sony businesses over technology for storing player preferences.  The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Delaware.

The suit claims that Walker maintains a portfolio of more than 500 patents and patent applications, including two gaming patents that it asserts Microsoft and Sony infringe with the MS Xbox 360 and Xbox 360 Live and the Sony PlayStation3, PlayStationPlus, and PlayStation Network.

The complaint stated that Walker’s patents concern “systems and methods for adapting gaming devices to player preferences”—so that a player can store a preference and the system will respond, and configure itself, upon the detection of the player’s identifying information.

According to a report published in Law360, Walker has also pursued other cases against gaming and software companies.  It sued video game makers in a lawsuit filed in July and filed multiple suits against more than a hundred companies asserting infringement of patents for e-commerce, gaming, and other technology—including Apple, Google, Facebook, Expedia, and eBay. In January, it sued other companies, claiming they infringed on patented technology permitting players to compete in tournaments held online.

Walker Digital and Sony Electronics reached settlement agreement in a separate case on August 11, 2011.  That suit—also filed in the U.S. District Court in Delaware—alleged that Sony infringed its patents through two features on Sony’s website—“Add Accessories” and “Sony Recommends.”