Category — Patents
- patents are too easy to get
- many are trivial and do not pass the non-obvious test;
- the length of patent protection, especially in the context of the Internet and fast changing industries like the video game industry, is too long;
- the cost of defending a patent infringement suit is too high with the result that marginal patents are frequently not tested;
- to determine whether a prospective idea is obvious, and therefor patentable, it should be submitted for peer review as part of the patent prosecution process rather than the current system of testing for obviousness through the costly judicial process after a patent is granted; and
- the length of patent protection should be different for different types of patents.
Love’m or hate’m, video game patents have played an important role in the evolution of the video game industry.
Ross Dannenberg and Steve Chang of Banner & Witcoff, Ltd have put together this terrific feature article: “The Ten Most Important Video Game Patents” for Gamasutra. In assessing the patents’ importance, they used four criteria:
- Relativity to Video Games
- Financial Value
- Technological Importance
- The IT-Factor
The winning patents honored/discussed in the piece are:
- Nintendo’s NES – Game Cartridge Lock Patent (U.S. Pat. No. 4,799,635)
- Alpex’s Patent Covering RAM-based Screen Mapping (U.S. Pat. No. 4,026,555)
- Immersion’s Force Feed-back Patents (U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,275,213 and 6,424,333)
- Freedom Wave’s Wireless Controller Patents (U.S. Patent Nos. 6,280,327 and 6,878,006)
- Sega’s ‘Crazy Taxi’ Direction Indicator Patent (U.S. Patent No. 6,200,138)
- Koei’s Grouped Character Battle Method Patent (U.S. Patent No. 6,729,954)
- Interlink’s Motion Sensing (a.k.a. WiiMote) Patent (U.S. Patent No. 6,850,221)
- The Pong Patent (U.S. Patent No. RE28,507)
Check it out, its a good read.
Also, FYI, I have discovered Ross’ Patent Arcade blog where, among other things, he tracks Video Game Lawsuits. For your future reference I have added it to my “Video Game Law Blogs” roll down the right side of my blog (after “Topics”).
Patent trolling is becoming a revenue stream for companies that come up with a vague idea, patent it, and “sue the hell” out of anyone that actually puts it into tangible practice. Next-Gen.Biz speaks with attorney Steve Rubin.
In this interesting article entitled “Its Just a Game Right?“, Ross Dannenberg, Esq. and Steve Chang, Esq. describe the top myths surrounding patent protection of video games, in the hopes of encouraging innovative game developers to take steps to protect their valuable video game innovations.
Source: IP Frontline