The gaming industry, at least as that phrase applies to gambling, was especially hard hit in the financial collapse of the last decade, and many of the players have not recovered. Adding to the general malaise is that some of the companies within gaming industry have become among the chief players in the country’s “patent wars”, the cottage industry of acquiring patents for little more reason than looking for cases where those patents are being violated, and instituting litigation.
One such recent lawsuit has captured public attention, and a fair amount of confusion surrounding this lawsuit involves MGT Gaming’s United States Patent No. 7,892,088 (“the ’088 Patent”) entitled “Gaming Device Having a Second Separate Bonusing Event.” The patent application was filed in October 2001, and granted in February 22nd, 2011. MGT Gaming is majority-owned by MGT Capital Investments (MGT), a tiny (market cap of about $14.5 million) company with ongoing business in medical imaging hardware and software applications. In May of this year, MTG, with ample cash and no debt on its books, announced a plan to acquire what it believed might be valuable patents, the first of which was the ’088 patent.
The ’088 patent specifically refers to two or more linked games, that if a predetermined, specific criteria that was agreed upon were met, it would qualify the players of those games to a second, separate competitive “bonus round.” These sorts of games are commonplace at most casinos. They are a far cry from traditional slots, and a trip to your nearest casino will show you just how popular these “competitive” games are. Note that traditional “progressive” games are not an issue of ’088. To continue reading, click here.