Impact on Gaikai and other systems remains unclear

OnLive granted ‘cloud gaming’ patent

OnLive has been granted the ‘cloud gaming’ patent its CEO had filed eight years ago.

Steve Perlman applied for the patent protection back in 2002. Today he declined to comment on whether he would, or could, sue rival firms that use similar technology.

The patent will likely intensify the enmity between OnLive and its contemporaneous rival Gaikai, but could also prove to be a double-edged sword.

The theory is that OnLive’s patent protection could discourage companies from using similar technologies. However, such a monopoly on cloud gaming – particularly at its formative stages – could inhibit wider growth in the sector.

In any event, the patent may not be applicable to the manner in which Gaikai operates.

OnLive’s patent is for a physical “apparatus” that outputs video game data through an interface “at a data rate of approximately 200 Mbps or greater”.

The document, unearthed by investment publication Venturebeat, continued:

“A wireless transceiver is included to receive the software video game via a wireless local area network (WLAN) and to transmit game information to a remote player having access to the WLAN during interactive play of the software video game.”

Gaikai’s own cloud gaming service does not use a physical apparatus akin to OnLive’s Microconsole, though the indistinctness of the patent could lead to troublesome interpretations.

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