Monday, December 04, 2006

November Board and Card Game Patents

Let's start off with something that appears to have absolutely no relationship to board games (but just wait!): Periodic personalized media system, and associated method.

Essentially, this patent claims providing information about what a celebrity did when he or she was your age. Is that not a wonderful patent?

But wait. We're just getting started.

This patent claims copyright on the patent itself!
A portion of this disclosure contains material to which a claim for copyright is made. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document (including Figures), as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office patent file or records, but reserves all other copyright rights whatsoever.
That's a first. First of all, they have "no objection" to the patent office making copies; thank you very much. The patent office has a legal right to copy whatever the hell they want, and don't need your permission. Secondly, I don't think you can claim copyright on a patent application, or any material submitted with it. Thirdly, this patent applies to a process, which can't be copyrighted, anyway. What are they thinking?

Now, how do board games fit into this? One of their fifty odd claims of applicability for this patent includes the following board game:
In another embodiment, a quiz can be a game presented either electronically or in paper format (e.g. board game) and involve scoring and competition between players and scoring. In one aspect of this embodiment, biographical data arranged on agelines can form the basis for board-game questions. In addition to multiple-choice questions that involve the relative ages of subjects, players can guess the number of days, months, seasons, or other intervals between the achievements/experiences of the people in the game. In another aspect of the embodiment, points can be scored by being the closest of the competitors to guessing the age of somebody at the time of a specific event. In a further aspect of the embodiment, each player starts the game as a newborn (0 days old) and gets points (corresponding to days of life) for winning various questions. The object of the game could be to "live the longest" among the competitors, or outlive various notable peoples. Losing a round could cause a player to "lose a year of his/her life."
In other words, we haven't made anything, but we claim patent to just about any board game idea we can think of that involves celebrities and their accomplishments based on their age.

Good luck with that. Next.

Poker game with required dealer discard: Some sort of poker game where the dealer is dealt an extra card face up. If this card is within some range of values, it is discarded, otherwise one of the face down cards is discarded.

Combination Poker and Blackjack casino card game: Or Pojack, as they like to call it. I thought we covered something like this last month. *shrug*

Card games: Looks like a poker game where you are dealt three cards and you win if any of the cards match the dealer's single card and exceed it in value.

Electronic video poker game: Solitaire poker against a computer, where you play more than one hand, each of which starts off identically. They change based on what cards you toss out.

Computer assisted game for teaching cooperative resource allocation and multi-party negotiation skills: Essentially, a board game in which you have to decide how to invest: 1) in your own project, 2) in a group project, and 3) in all projects. It is supposed to teach resource and negotiation skills, as well as some game theory principles.

It is claimed by Vibeke Libby, a mathematician/engineer of some sort, working for Agilemath.

That appears to be all for this month.


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