Electronic trading card games are more than a way to trade your favorite sports hero. From kids to adults, these cards and electronic games can cover any topic you have an interest in – the recent Royal Wedding, Star Wars, and even your favorite city. The latest statistics show that trading cards and their associated games raked in $2.1 billion worldwide. Social gaming in the U.S. alone is targeted to earn $2 billion by 2012.
As game companies, developers, and all the employees in the electronic gaming industry line up to get their share of the profits, there are inevitably some struggles over creativity, intellectual property, and fair competition. Protecting a company’s creative assets often becomes mission number one. No wonder we’re seeing lawsuits such as the one filed by Wildcat Intellectual Property Holdings, LLC against some of the biggest names in gaming.
In the suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division, Wildcat alleges patent infringement of its 2001 U.S. Patent No. 6,200,216 for an “Electronic Trading Card” for use in consumer digital media. The alleged infringers include: 4Kids’s and Chaotic’s Chaotic online trading card game; Electronic Arts BattleForge videogame; Konami’s Marvel trading card videogame; Yu-Gi-Oh! Online Duel Accelerator videogame; Nintendo’s and Pokemon’s Pokemon Trading Card GameOnline; Panini’s NFL Adrenalyn XLonline game; SCEA’s The Eye of Judgment Legends videogame; SOE’s Legends of Norrath online trading card game; Topps’ Toppstown online trading card game; Wizards’ Magic Online game; and, Zynga’s Warstorm game.
This patent case may be extremely relevant to gaming companies involved with packaged software games, mobile games, online social games, gaming consoles and devices. The alleged Wildcat infringers are said to be using the patented card format and code segments to electronically trade scarce cards and games. This case “…could affect the future direction of the [trading card] hobby”, some say.
As more people gravitate to virtual and electronic cards, not to mention the potential for future augmented reality cards, those who own the programming and backbones behind such a digital card can be as important as the final product. With so much at stake, there is clearly a need for a skilled patent attorney to counsel clients involved in patent, copyright, or trademark disputes in this area.
Austin patent lawyer Gregory D. Jordan has years of experience representing businesses and individuals in intellectual property disputes. To learn more, please contact Austin patent attorney and Austin business litigation attorney Gregory D. Jordan at http://www.theaustintriallawyer.com or call (512) 419-0684.