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Virtual-World Conflicts Lead To Real-World Suits

Law360 (June 8, 2010, 5:09 PM EDT) -- As the market for online games expands and the debate over who has the right to control the virtual content heats up, website operators, their users and third parties could find themselves locked in real-world legal battles.

Disputes stemming from ownership of virtual property and operators’ terms of service agreements are starting to pop up more often, leading intellectual property experts to speculate that they may become the next hot-button issues to be played out in the courts.

“Claims are growing over ownership and use of intellectual property both inside and outside the game,” said Robert J. deBrauwere, a partner of...

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