Friday, December 07, 2007

November Board and Card Game Patents

Rewarding detection of notable nonrandom patterns in games - Apparently, this is a patent for handing out a reward to a player who points out that the cards you've been dealing weren't properly shuffled.

System and methods for randomizing playing instruments for use in online gaming - The abstract makes it sound like this is a claim for Eye of Judgment, but in the end it is only the simulation and process of realistic-looking card shuffling on screen.

Poker game - A game of Texas Hold-Em where the discarded cards of players who fold are discarded face up instead of face down. Now patented. I kid you not.

Gameboard, games played on board and methods of play requiring strategy and luck - A marriage between Chess and Euchre, where a hand of Euchre is played every time a piece is attacked.

Card game - Another patent where the abstract describes something entirely different than what is actually claimed. The abstract makes it sound like any game where you use cards rather than dice to move your pieces. When you read the description, it is a specific board game with a U.S. military base theme and the deck of cards is the Pentagon-issued most-wanted Iraqis set.

Multiple dice device - One or more little dice within a large clear die.

Computerized game with cascading strategy and full information - A strange kind of game that makes use of a Checkers game format. A randomized Checkers game and some sort of goal is provided, and the player has to achieve the goal. I'm not sure if all goals are meant to be necessarily obtainable.

Card game - TarotReader.

Poker game with spoken ranks - Liar's Poker (Liar's Dice with poker hands).

Basketball board game - Correctly named, with several pieces for each player, using dice.

Three dimensional piece alignment game - Most patents have a small section listing the impetus for why this invention is required. They try to define everything else as flawed in exactly the way that the invention is not.

This patent's impetus boldly asserts the reason for this invention: "A game requiring strategy for the movement of pieces as well as interaction with other players is desired. A game that can have the level of complexity easily reduced so that the game can be enjoyed by children as well as adults is also desirable."

Can't think of any existing games like, nuh uh. So we're off to a good start. But wait; it gets better.

There's no game. The patent's entire claim is for any game, of any type, with pieces and a board of some sort, where the object is to align the pieces that are flipped up in some manner. That's it. It doesn't have any rules.

In fact, it considers this a Good Thing: "The game allows players flexibility to select rules to adjust the skill level of the game. The game can be sized for travel, played in tournament style, or computerized in a hand held device or network."

In other words: I got nothing. Can't think of a game. So I'm going to patent this mechanic. As soon as someone invents a game that looks like it uses my mechanic, I'll sue them.

Too bad for him that Reversi is already over 100 years old.


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