Sunday, November 11, 2012

WotC sued for Magic: The Gathering Online

I found a quite interesting information and I would like to share it with you all.

"Wildcat Intellectual Property Holdings of Dallas, Texas has sued Wizards of the Coast in Federal Court claiming that the Hasbro subsidiary has violated its electronic trading-card patent by publishing "Magic: The Gathering Online." While Wildcat is suing Wizards of the Coast, it does not name Hasbro in its lawsuit.

Wildcat claims the popular online collectible trading card game infringes on at least seven aspects of its Electronic Trading Card patent. Those infringements include "making, using, selling, hosting, and/or providing access to within the United States, and/or importing into the United States, at least Wizards' 'Magic: The Gathering Online' game, infringing one or more claims of the '216 Patent."

Wildcat says it uses the patent on its own game Unit Commander which it calls "the ultimate mercenary trading card game." The company is asking the court for "injunctive relief to stop the alleged infringing activity."

The only thing they are suing about is that Wildcat have a patent that says they have the exclusive right to make  Electronic Trading Card games, and MTGO fits the definition given in the patent, so they believe they can get WotC to pay money for their 'idea'. The suit will cost Hasbro hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend it and Hasbro would have to prove that the suit is frivolous. The patent was granted in 2001. and MTGO started in 2002. I have seen no litigation for ten years against WotC from this firm. What's interesting the Wildcat's game is still in the beta process according to it's website. That is almost 11 years after the patent was granted. For better or worse, WotC probably will be looking for a settlement. 

Don't panic. This suit is almost certainly not a big deal : )

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