Microsoft Sued Over Xbox Live

In 1994, Peter Hochstein and Jeffrey Tenenbaum patented a method for "communicating live while playing the same video game in separate locations". In 2004, they sued Microsoft, accusing Xbox Live of infringing on that patent.

Now, five years later, the case is finally starting to heat up.

See, unlike many other cases of this ilk - which are often harmless - this one may have some teeth.

Why? Because in 2004, the two men not only sued Microsoft over Xbox Live, but Sony as well, claiming the PS2's online network infringed on the same patent. And in April of this year, Sony settled with them for an undisclosed sum.

What's more, Microsoft, rather than shrugging the case off with a team of mighty lawyers, have resorted to juvenile tricks, holding the case up for weeks in February 2009 over a single, innocent typo, and dumping 140,000 documents on Hochstein and Tenenbaum without an index.

Something tells me this may end up costing Microsoft a dollar or two, if only in the form of another "undisclosed sum".

If long-winded legal documents are your thing, you can read up on the various stages of the case here, here and here. [via PA]