British Telecommunications, one of the world’s oldest telecom operators, is suing Valve over its digital distribution platform, Steam. According to documents obtained by ESPN’s e-sports section, the company highlights Steam’s broadcasting, chat, and messaging functions as well as how it stores third-party games.
"Despite BT's repeated attempts to reach an amicable resolution with Valve, and BT's numerous requests that Valve stop infringing the [patents], Valve has continued to infringe willfully and wantonly," alleged British Telecom lawyers in the complaint.
"Valve's Internet-based digital distribution platform for video games, Steam, is the largest in the world and supports thousands of games, some of which have been developed by Valve itself and some of which have been developed by others," wrote lawyers for British Telecom. Valve's Steam Library, Steam Chat, Steam Messaging, and Steam Broadcasting are all specifically mentioned in the complaint.
The legal filing also contains four patents as attachments for which BT wants to claim compensation for what it deems are patent violations by Valve.
"BT brings this action to recover the just compensation it is owed for Valve's past infringement, and to prevent Valve from continuing to benefit from the patented inventions in the future without authorization or compensation to BT," explained British Telecom lawyers.
This is hot on the heels of Valve being sued for promoting illegal gambling in its games.
A lawsuit filed on behalf of Connecticut resident Michael John McLeod alleges that Valve and third-party sites (CSGO Diamonds, CSGO Lounge and OPSkins) which allow "knowingly allowed, supported, and/or sponsored illegal gambling by allowing millions of Americans to link their individual Steam accounts to third- party websites." The aforementioned websites, the suit says, skins for CS:GO, which can be purchased from Valve, "can ... easily be traded and used as collateral for bets."
"Valve owns the league, sells the casino chips, and receives a piece of the casino's income stream through foreign websites in order to maintain the charade that Valve is not promoting and profiting from online gambling, like a modern-day Captain Renault from Casablanca," the suit alleges.