Riot Games’ Networking Patent Win Affirmed by Federal Circuit

Written June 23, 2020

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on June 16, 2020, affirmed a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) win by videogame developers Riot Games Inc. and Valve Corp. in validity challenges to two computer-networking patents. PalTalk Holdings Inc. v. Riot Games Inc., Fed. Cir., No. 19-2035, unpublished 6/16/20.

The patents in question cover a method for improving communications between computers playing an online multiplayer game. Riot and Valve challenged the validity of the relevant parts of the patent at the PTAB, which ruled that the inventions were obvious based on prior art.

PalTalk argued that parts of its patent covering a group messaging server and “echo suppression"—technology to ensure that a host doesn’t receive copies of its sent messages—weren’t obvious. But the Federal Circuit upheld the ruling, finding it supported by substantial evidence including expert testimony and “express disclosures” from the prior art.