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Perfect World hit with patent infringement lawsuit      2009-06-03 10:16:21

Perfect World Entertainment, the maker of one of China's biggest virtual worlds, has been accused of patent infringement. In a complaint filed last week, IQ Biometrix, Inc. alleges the fantasy-based virtual world Perfect World, operated by Perfect World Entertainment, borrows too heavily from IQ's patented process of creating a facial composite. The company is seeking an injunction and damages, according to court documents. 

The patents owned by IQ detail "a process of creating a facial composites by selecting 'basic morphological elements' or facial features from a library of encoded features and merging them into a single synthetic image with proportional components, thus reducing contrasts between the individually selected features." The complaint alleges that Perfect World's avatar creation protocol misappropriates the features-making system owned by IQ. 

Says IQ Biometrix in the complaint: "IQ Biometrix provides facial image composite software marketed under the name FACES. The FACES software is used by thousands of law enforcement agencies worldwide, including the CIA and the FBI, as well as the U.S. Military." 

Additionally, the company boasts of having received numerous awards for its software, including the Crime Stoppers International President's Award and the National Parenting Center Seal of Approval Award for the software. 

In addition to being used by law enforcement, IQ says the FACES software is also used in "artistic creation, education, and recreation, such as creating personalized characters in the context of gaming and avatar creation." 

The complaint, filed in United States District Court for N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division, alleges infringement of two IQ patents. IQ has also named Wagware Systems, Inc. as a defendant, accusing it of infringing on an IQ-owned patent through its children's game, Make Faces. 

Perfect World Entertainment was in the news recently after reporting Q1 earnings. Its premier title, Perfect World, is one of China's most popular. Although trending lower, it regularly tallies more than 600,000 concurrent users.