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Microsoft Sued Over Technology In Halo?

Bloomberg News is reporting that PalTalk Holdings Inc. of New York has paid about $200K for patents belonging to Mpath, which reportedly had discussions with Microsoft once upon a time about technology for "ways to control interactive applications over multiple computers". PalTalk is now suing Microsoft for violating those patents; they say MS had discussions with them and found the technology "very valuable".

Microsoft says "the technology is for an older dial-up method of communicating between computers" and therefore doesn't cover Halo, and even if it did, it's worth far less than the $90M PalTalk is seeking.

I can't help wonder at how far away from technology these kinds of patents really are. Let's say they were developed in the time of dialup. So what? Since the days of SLIP and PPP, computers using dial-up were still speaking TCP/IP to each other. Early Bungie games that used TCP/IP for multiplayer could be played over dialup (with some tweaking) so unless the Mpath patents are for a system that has nothing to do with TCP/IP (what was it, IPX?) then that fact by itself doesn't mean this has nothing to do with Halo.

However, beyond that, Bungie had its own networking libraries, and Halo was already in development before Microsoft bought them. What are the odds that Halo multiplayer ever required technology that Microsoft discussed with Mpath and then didn't decide to use?

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