777
777
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August 31st, 2016 at 11:46:31 AM permalink
Below is a link to the The Cost of Obtaining a Patent in the US article.

http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2015/04/04/the-cost-of-obtaining-a-patent-in-the-us/id=56485/

Note that the article dated 4/4/2015, so the cost data may be outdated by now.

I think a typical casino game falls in the category of simple patent and the attorney fees for a simple patent such as board game could cost $7000 - $8500, plus another $1000 - $1250 fee for patent search with opinion as stated in the article.

Does the aforementioned cost seem reasonable for a typical casino game? Perhaps it would be too risky to do the filing without going through the patent search step to save a few bucks (actually $1000 is not a small amount), and would you take such risk?
MathExtremist
MathExtremist
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August 31st, 2016 at 12:29:00 PM permalink
In my experience, most table game inventors never consider the issue of investment risk vis-a-vis the costs of developing a new game (including patent costs). They just heard about successful games like Caribbean Stud, Let It Ride, and Three Card Poker and want to have the next big success.

What makes the matter even trickier is the shifting legal landscape -- 20 years ago the USPTO would routinely issue patents on card game methods with claims like:
Quote: U.S. Patent 4,836,553, Claim 1

1. A method of playing a poker game comprising the steps of:
(a) a player anteing a first bet means,
(b) a dealer dealing a hand comprising a predetermined number of cards to each of the player and the dealer,
(c) the player either folding in which case the player loses his first bet means to the dealer, or betting a second bet means,
(d) the player comparing his hand to the hand of the dealer using poker rank as the criterion for comparison,
(e) if the dealer's hand is not at least a predetermined rank, the player wins a preselected amount based on the player's first bet means and the player keeps his second bet means,
(f) if the dealer's hand is at least a predetermined rank, and the dealer's hand is higher than the player's hand, the player loses both his first bet means and his second bet means,
(g) if the dealer's hand is at least a predetermined rank, and the player's hand is higher than the dealer's hand, then the player wins a first predetermined amount on his first bet means and the player wins a second predetermined amount on his second bet means based on the type of poker hand combination that the player has, said second predetermined amount having a potential return of at least twenty times the amount of the second bet means.

https://www.google.com/patents/US4836553, a.k.a. Caribbean Stud.

But these days, the both the PTO and court system are ruling against the patent-eligibility of card game methods even though they are claimed using similar language:
Quote: U.S. Patent Application 12/912,410, Claim 1 (rejected)

1. A method of conducting a wagering game comprising:
a) a dealer providing at least one deck of i) physical playing cards and shuffling the physical playing cards to form a random set of physical playing cards;
b) the dealer accepting at least one first wager from each participating player on a player game hand against a banker’s/dealer’s hand;
c) the dealer dealing only two cards from the random set of physical playing cards to each designated player and two cards to the banker/dealer such that the designated player and the banker/dealer receive the same number of exactly two random physical playing cards;
d) the dealer examining respective hands to determine in any hand has a Natural 0 count from totaling count from cards, defined as the first two random physical playing cards in a hand being a pair of 5’s, 10’s, jacks, queens or kings;
e) the dealer resolving any player versus dealer wagers between each individual player hand that has a Natural 0 count and between the dealer hand and all player hands where a Natural 0 is present in the dealer hand, while the dealer exposes only a single card to the players;
f) as between each player and the dealer where neither hand has a Natural 0, the dealer allowing each player to elect to take a maximum of one additional card or standing pat on the initial two card player hand, while still having seen only one dealer card;
g) the dealer/banker remaining pat within a first certain predetermined total counts and being required to take a single hit within a second predetermined total counts, where the first total counts range does not overlap the second total counts range;
h) after all possible additional random physical playing cards have been dealt, the dealer comparing a value of each designated player’s hand to a final value of the
banker’s/dealer’s hand wherein said value of the designated player’s hand and the banker’s/dealer’s hand is in a range of zero to nine points based on a pre-established scoring system wherein aces count as one point, tens and face cards count as zero points and all other cards count as their face value and wherein a two-digit hand total is deemed to have a value corresponding to the one’s digit of the two-digit total;
i) the dealer resolving the wagers based on whether the designated player’s hand or the banker’s/dealer’s hand is nearest to a value of 0.


Quote: CAFC decision, In re Smith

Ray and Amanda Tears Smith (collectively, “Applicants”) appeal the final decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) affirming the rejection of claims 1–18 of U.S. Patent Application No. 12/912,410 (“the ’410 patent application”) for claiming patent-ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Because the claims cover only the abstract idea of rules for playing a wagering game and use conventional steps of shuffling and dealing a standard deck of cards, we affirm.

http://www.ipwatchdog.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/in-re-smith.pdf

I'm not going to advise someone not to invest in new game development, but I'd definitely advise taking the current legal landscape into consideration.
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
SAMIAM
SAMIAM
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August 31st, 2016 at 12:39:37 PM permalink
I am working on a game and going the " Hail Mary " route. PPA and pray to get a distributor interested. Looking more and more SHFL may be best route, but definitely lots of prayer requires also.
DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
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August 31st, 2016 at 1:35:15 PM permalink
Most distributors won't touch it without a patent, or at least a patent pending.

After all, why should they take all the risk and expense of you won't take any?
I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/ ————————————————————————————————————— Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
777
777
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August 31st, 2016 at 1:39:53 PM permalink
Quote: DJTeddyBear

Most distributors won't touch it without a patent, or at least a patent pending.

After all, why should they take all the risk and expense of you won't take any?



You misread my question. My question is, when you apply for a patent, would you take the risk of not doing patent search in order to save a few bucks?
DRich
DRich
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August 31st, 2016 at 1:45:56 PM permalink
Quote: SAMIAM

I am working on a game and going the " Hail Mary " route. PPA and pray to get a distributor interested. Looking more and more SHFL may be best route, but definitely lots of prayer requires also.



I have a love/hate relationship with provisional patent applications. They are cheap, easy, and establish a date which is great. My problem is that I am always continuing to work on the idea and no improvements are covered by the provisional. You really need to file a new provisional every time you improve the idea but before you show anyone. The cyclic redundancy of it makes it really hard to test any ideas before filing the application.

Good luck with your game.
Order from chaos
ahiromu
ahiromu
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August 31st, 2016 at 2:13:41 PM permalink
In terms of pure attorney fees... they're within the ballpark. I'd imagine you would have multiple inventions and a lot of dependents per species for gaming patents... that would increase the price (at least in terms of USPTO fees). This is all assuming things go perfectly.

It would be good having someone with a patent mindset look at your game before you commit. I'd imagine the combination of games in terms of a 103 rejection (combination of references) would be hard to wrap your head around outside of the IP world.

Unsolicited recommendation: Pay them by the hour. You want them (your attorneys) to look at your application for as long as they deem necessary. A lump sum is just asking for them to spend 0 time on your responses. I'm sure some lump sum attorneys are great, but just consider it.
Its - Possessive; It's - "It is" / "It has"; There - Location; Their - Possessive; They're - "They are"
SAMIAM
SAMIAM
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August 31st, 2016 at 4:15:46 PM permalink
A question : I have been told by someone, who is highly regarded in the industry, that I could include several games on one PPA . Anyone got an opinion on this? PM me for name of who told me this. I might add she said once my game or games were on a PPA, she had lawyers, math people, etc on the payroll if my game had any value.
CrystalMath
CrystalMath
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August 31st, 2016 at 5:27:57 PM permalink
Quote: SAMIAM

A question : I have been told by someone, who is highly regarded in the industry, that I could include several games on one PPA . Anyone got an opinion on this? PM me for name of who told me this. I might add she said once my game or games were on a PPA, she had lawyers, math people, etc on the payroll if my game had any value.



Yes, you can bundle as much as you want in a PPA, but you cannot amend it if you make more developments on a game.
I heart Crystal Math.
RealizeGaming
RealizeGaming
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August 31st, 2016 at 5:42:35 PM permalink
Quote: CrystalMath

Yes, you can bundle as much as you want in a PPA, but you cannot amend it if you make more developments on a game.



I've done this method with two video poker games and then broke them into two separate patents once the utility was due. Most recently, we've done this with a group of five slot games which we will break into five separate utilities once it is due next year. It does save you some money when filing.

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