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Activision Blizzard faces a $23 million fine for Call of Duty

Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard, completed in 2023, was largely driven by the company’s iconic video game franchises, such as Call of Duty and World of Warcraft. However, these same franchises now find themselves at the center of a legal controversy that could result in a million-dollar fine for Activision Blizzard.

According to Reuters, a federal jury in Delaware has ruled that Activision Blizzard infringed two patents belonging to Acceleration Bay, a company specializing in network technology. The patents in question relate to online “simultaneous sharing of information” between “widely distributed” computers, a key technology in the SamaGame modes of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Call of Duty: Black Ops III and World of Warcraft.

The jury, in addition to determining infringement, established that Activision Blizzard must pay Acceleration Bay a total of $23.4 million in damages. The company has expressed its intention to appeal the decision, arguing that the technology used in its games differs from that protected by patents.

However, the case could be settled out of court before the appeal process begins. Activision’s legal documents suggest that the company believes any damages for infringement should be limited to $300,000 or less, a figure that appears to be far from what Acceleration Bay requires.

The final resolution of this case will have a significant impact on the video game industry, setting an important precedent when it comes to the protection of intellectual property and the use of patented technologies in video games.

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