Funny thing about big, all-encompassing patents: they leave a surprising amount of wiggle room. And if T5 Labs is right, OnLive may be about to learn that the hard way.
OnLive may have bagged the king of all game streaming patents last December, but T5 Labs is claiming its largely similar patent actually predates OnLive’s variation on the theme. The current tale of the tape sees OnLive’s patent originally popping up in December 2002, while T5′s got its start in March of the same year. Advantage: T5.
However, OnLive thinks T5′s got its head in the clouds in more ways than one, and claims that T5′s patent isn’t even in the same league as OnLive’s.
An OnLive rep explained the situation to Joystiq accordingly, saying that the company looked over T5′s patent and “saw no relevance whatsoever to OnLive and told [T5 head Graham Clemie] so. We are approached by people with irrelevant patents all the time. We are highly confident in our own patent portfolio, and have no further comment.”
T5, meanwhile, may end up running a legal procedure known as “interference,” which – if successful – would establish it as the original inventor of relevant streaming and cloud gaming tech instead of OnLive. For now, however, the company is “considering its legal rights.”