Sony, EA, Ubisoft, Disney settle voice chat suit

Four gaming companies reach "mutual agreement" with Bareis Technologies over patent claim filed last year.


Bareis Technologies took a handful of the biggest companies in gaming to court last November, and it appears as if the Texas-based company's efforts were not for naught. Last week, Bareis reached a "mutual agreement" with Sony Computer Entertainment, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, and Disney Interactive Studios to dismiss its claims of patent infringement related to the gaming companies' use of voice chat in games.

EndWar would certainly be a very different game without voice chat.
EndWar would certainly be a very different game without voice chat.

Details of the settlement were not revealed. However, Bareis' original complaint sought royalties from the use of its technology, negotiated at a "reasonable rate." The motion to dismiss indicates that all parties will be responsible for their own legal fees and that all subsequent counterclaims related to the patent dispute have been dropped.

The patent in question was awarded by the US Patent and Trademark Office in 1997. It pertains "to optical disks with speech recognition templates used to access information."

Bareis took particular exception to Ubisoft's products, as the suit named a host of Tom Clancy games, including Rainbow Six: Lockdown, Rainbow Six 3, Rainbow Six Vegas, Ghost Recon 2, and EndWar. Bareis' suit also claimed violations from Sony's SOCOM franchise, EA's NASCAR series, and Disney Interactive Studios' Phonics Quest.

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