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Posts Tagged: "video games"

Game On: How IP Helps the Video Game Industry Level Up

While countless industries have been forced to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, the video game industry has been on a winning streak. Historic numbers of people have turned to video games for social connection, competitive sport, and everything in between. By the numbers, one in three people on the planet play video games and, this week, millions of those people tuned into E3, the premiere event for game players and game creators alike.

The Most Iconic (and Patented) Toys and Games of All Time

Since America’s earliest days, a lot of creative and innovative toys have come through the consumer marketplace. Many becoming so iconic they have become household names and synonymous with a moment in time for America’s youth. Some of the most popular of these toys that continue to show up year after year under Christmas trees were patented… It wouldn’t be a traditional Christmas at IPWatchdog unless we spent some time profiling some cool innovations that relate to the holiday season. So today, I return to one of our all time favorite articles. Five years ago we published The Top 10 Most Iconic (and Patented) Toys and last year we published The Most Iconic (and Patented) Games. With Christmas firmly in mind, it is time to revisit and expand these lists. When initially published some truly iconic classic toys and games were inexplicably left missing. So, with the hours winding down before Santa Claus makes his way down chimneys across the world, join us as we look back at some of the most popular toys and games of all time, as well as the patents behind them.

Gamestatix Develops a Blockchain Platform to Correct Inequalities in Booming Gaming Market

Gamestatix intends to release an ERC-20 token that can be deployed on an Ethereum blockchain. Launched in 2014, this technology makes it possible for Gamestatix to pay in a cryptocurrency that could then be transferred more readily than Bitcoin. The difference between the two is that Bitcoin is only a currency while Ethereum is an application platform through which companies can build new programs. Both use blockchaining technology, but Ethereum’s allows for complex applications in a “smart contract” which can automate certain operations.

Nintendo Files Copyright, Trademark Infringement Suit Against Operator of ROM Websites

Nintendo’s complaint targets the operator of LoveROMS.com and LoveRETRO.co who has made thousands of Nintendo titles available online for free from platforms including the Game Boy, the original Nintendo Entertainment System, Super NES, Nintendo 64 and Nintendo DS, among others. Nintendo alleges that just the top 10 games on the LoveROMs site in which Nintendo is a copyright claimant and trademark owner have been downloaded more than 60 million times. Further, the LoveROMs website allegedly receives more than 17 million visits each month.

DMCA 2017: 9th Cir. decides safe harbor, anti-circumvention cases

In 2017, there were several noteworthy decisions relating to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Specifically, the Ninth Circuit addressed two separate cases, one dealing with safe harbor provisions, the other on anti-circumvention. This article discusses three separate decisions including Mavrix Photographs LLC v. LiveJournal Inc., 873 F.3d 1045 (9th Cir. 2017)(on DMCA safe harbor), and Disney Enterprises, Inc. v. VidAngel, Inc., 869 F.3d 848 (9th Cir. 2017)(anti-circumvention provisions).

Video Game Companies Seek DMCA Exemption for Online Video Game Preservation

Every three years the U.S. Copyright Office analyzes whether to revise and/or renew the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) anti-circumvention provision. The latest triennial rulemaking review under the DMCA relating to anti-circumvention provisions began on June 30, 2017, when the Copyright Office published a Notice of Inquiry requesting petitions to renew existing exemptions, and as well as petitions for new exemptions.

Atari files suit against Nestlé for Kit Kat ad campaign that infringed on Breakout video game

Atari Interactive Inc. filed a lawsuit alleging trademark and copyright infringement claims against Swiss food and drink company Nestlé SA (VTX:NESN). The suit targets a worldwide and multi-platform advertising campaign produced by Nestlé for the company’s Kit Kat candy bars, which uses elements of Atari’s Breakout video game. The suit is filed in the Northern District of California. Atari’s suit alleges that Nestlé leveraged the look of Breakout for its Kit Kat ad campaign 40 years after Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak created the game for Atari. “To be clear, this is not a case where a good faith dispute could exist between the rights holder and alleged infringer,” the complaint reads.

The rise of eSports creates a complicated relationship with IP

Recently, eSports have exploded in popularity to the point that college conferences, such as the Big 10, are now fielding eSports teams. Patented technologies and partnerships in the eSports field have been developed to take advantage of this boom as well. However, there are problems with enforcing IP rights, both because the patents could be potentially held as ineligible subject matter and the ownership rights for the IP are difficult to determine.

Warner Bros. settles FTC charges over deceptive YouTube influencer campaign marketing of video game

The FTC filed a complaint against Warner Bros. for violating provisions of the Federal Trade Commission Act by making payments to prominent members of YouTube for positive reviews of its video game without publicly disclosing those payments. The FTC focused on the activities of an advertising agency known as Plaid Social Labs which was contracted by Warner Bros. in 2014 to coordinate a YouTube influencer campaign which marketed Shadow of Mordor. The FTC complaint listed two counts against Warner Bros., specifically one count for false claims of independent reviews and another count for deceptive failure to disclose material connection between endorsers and sellers.

NVIDIA’s Ansel Offers In-Game Photo Mode for Parkour Adventures Game

Ansel is currently only available for a parkour adventure game called Mirror’s Edge Catalyst sold on Origin. It is supported by PCs, provided the computer has an Nvidia card, and more games supporting Ansel are likely in the making. The company, best known for its graphics cards, announced the GTX 1080 earlier this year. This card has twice the frame buffer and a quarter more memory speed than its predecessor, the GTX 980. The memory interface with this card is 256-bit and it supports virtual reality (VR) platforms. This means that PC headset can be used for 360-degree pictures. Nvidia has also put out the GTX 1060, a more mid-priced item, but still packing a lot of punch. This model actually triples the frame buffer rate of its last model, the GTX 960. Its memory speed is only 2 gigabytes per second less than the GTX 1080, and the GTX 1060 is also compatible with PC headsets. At a price tag of $300 rather than $700 for the GTX 1080, it’s a good choice for low-end gaming platforms.

How Trade Dress Can Help Game Developers Level Up

A developer asserting trade dress protection must, therefore, establish that a game’s design does not yield a utilitarian advantage by demonstrating that “the product feature serves no purpose other than identification of the game developer.” A developer must also identify alternative designs that offer the same functional features as the asserted trade dress. Alternative designs available to competitors ensure that a developer is not monopolizing a useful or aesthetically pleasing game feature.

American innovation has been fueled by immigrant inventors

Without immigrants and the influx of knowledge brought by them to our country’s shores, American innovation and the overall economy would look nothing like it does today. The current election cycle, as with many recent ones, has seen a great deal of focus turned towards the issue of immigration reform, with much of the debate centered on 11 million undocumented workers currently in America. But we wanted to take some time to explore how foreigners have been able to contribute to our nation’s spirit of innovation. Surprisingly, we found that some of these inventions encompass products that are about as American as apple pie.

Virtual reality tech floods the 2016 CES from video gaming to vehicle tech

This year’s edition of the consumer trade show featured many companies which had placed a firm focus on the development of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies. Modern-day virtual reality technologies can perhaps be traced back to American computer scientist Ivan Sutherland who created the world’s earliest stereoscopic headset, the Sword of Damocles, in the late 1960s. With the long-awaited Oculus Rift virtual reality headset about to hit consumer markets in 2016, this year’s CES became a large opportunity for rival firms to stake their claim before the consumer market for virtual reality technologies begins to mature.

Recent Sony patents focus on video gaming, head-mounted displays

Sony is one of the giants of the patenting world and in 2014, it placed 4th among all companies receiving patent grants from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, earning 3,214 U.S. patents that year. This was despite the fact that Sony was only one of two members of the top 10 who received fewer patents in 2014 than it did in 2013. The patent portfolio analysis tools at Innography are showing us that Sony has earned 2,489 U.S. patents so far in 2015, so it’s likely that Sony’s 2015 patent totals will dip again. According to 2015 patent data, much of Sony’s research and development has focused on processing of information and images, along with control units and solid state imaging. head mounted displaySony’s focus on developing head-mounted devices for virtual reality systems has resulted in a couple of recently issued patents…

Activision patents social networking for AI characters, online harassment prevention

The social aspects of video gaming have been a recent focus of Activision research and development activity, as is reflected by the issue of U.S. Patent No. 8911296, entitled Social Network System and Method for Use With and Integration Into a Video Game. It protects a system configured to provide a social network integrated into one or more video games, the system having a video game platform executing computer software to generate visual and audio stimulus associated with a video game and a server executing computer software to provide a social network to a plurality of players available outside of the video game and with which virtual artificial intelligence characters from the game may also interact. This system enables interactions between players and virtual characters on a social network to have an impact in actual video game play. The social aspects of video gaming are also the focus of player socializationU.S. Patent No. 9076292, titled Encouraging Player Socialization Using a Nemesis and Avenger System.