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U.S. Patent No. 8,690,653: Video game systems and methods
Issued Apr. 8, 2014, to Nintendo Co., Ltd.




Summary:

The ‘653 patent covers multiplayer games in which each player controls a separate character and, under certain conditions, a character may become invincible. Each player uses a separate controller. While a character is invincible, the character responds to a different control scheme than when a character is susceptible to damage.


Abstract:

Example systems and methods relate to a video game in which multiple players each supply inputs to a respective input device to control a corresponding game character in a game world. Movements and actions of each game character are controlled in accordance with respective first game character control operations during the playing of the video game. If one of a plurality of conditions is satisfied by one of the players, the one player's game character is protected from harm in the game world. Movements and actions of the protected game character are controlled in accordance with a second game character control operation. The protecting of the one player's game character is stopped in response to one or more protecting stopping conditions, whereby the game character is again controllable in accordance with the first game character control operation.


Illustrative Claim:

1. A method comprising:
while playing a multi-player video game in which multiple players each supply inputs to a respective input device to control a corresponding game character in a game world displayed on a display screen,
controlling movements of each game character in the game world in accordance with respective first game character control operations during the playing of the multi-player video game;
in response to satisfaction of any one of a plurality of conditions by one of the players, protecting the one player's game character from harm in the game world, wherein the plurality of conditions include both voluntary conditions based on the one player's inputs and involuntary conditions automatically imposed by the multi-player video game;
controlling movements of the protected game character in the game world; and
stopping the protecting of the one player's game character in response to one or more protecting stopping conditions, whereby the movements of the one player's game character in the game world are controllable in accordance with the first game character control operation for that game character.

U.S. Patent No. 8,715,087: Video game including user determined location information
Issued May 6, 2014





Summary:

The ‘087 patent covers a method and device, which work together to collect player selected GPS information then use that information in the creation of some elements of a game world. The created elements may be derived from real world video or from other stored information. The game world is mapped over the selected GPS location.


Abstract:

A method, apparatus and computer program product for a video game including user determined location information is presented. Location information (e.g. GPS, Google Maps, an entered address or the like) determined by a user of a video game is acquired. Then user determined location information relating to a physical location determined by the user is mapped to a video game environment wherein the user of the video game experiences objects from the users entered location while playing the video game.


Illustrative Claim:

1. A computer-implemented method comprising:
receiving information about a real world physical location for a user of a videogame;
obtaining user determined location information relating to said real world physical location determined by said user, said user determined location information comprising continuous pre-recorded actual video of said real world physical location and of an area surrounding said real world physical location; and
mapping said user determined location information into a video game environment wherein the user of said video game experiences objects from the entered real world physical location, wherein said user traverses said video game environment while playing said video game, wherein said user of said video game is stationary in said real world and wherein all images acquired from said continuous pre-recorded actual video remains exactly as presented in the real physical world into the video game.

U.S. Patent No. 8,721,412: System and method configured to unlock content within a videogame
Issued May 13, 2014, to Activision Publishing, Inc.





Summary:

The ‘412 patent covers both single and multi-player video games. The games covered have different content sets, or quests, that can be completed by any combination of a single player, other real world players, and artificial intelligences. The player can move between these content sets, interact with the players therein, and complete discrete goals.


Abstract:

A system and method are configured to provide a videogame to one or more players. The videogame may involve a series of different sets of content within which players perform activities. A group of players may be associated with the content sets. The players may include virtual players controlled by artificial intelligence and one or more real world players. Players may progress through the videogame by moving from content sets to content sets, performing objectives in the various content sets, and interacting with the players within those content sets.


Illustrative Claim:

1. A system configured to provide a player with a videogame, the system comprising:
a game platform configured to implement one or more computer program modules to provide a player with the videogame, the one or more computer program modules comprising:
a content module configured to manage multiple sets of content within the videogame, wherein the multiple sets of content within the videogame comprise a first content set that is accessible to the player engaging in the videogame and a second content set that is not accessible to the player initially within the videogame, wherein the second content set is associated with a first set of criteria, wherein the content module is configured to unlock the second content set within the videogame for the player to enable the player to access the second content set within the videogame responsive to the player fulfilling the first set of criteria, wherein the first set of criteria includes performance of one or more tasks provided by the first content set that are not sufficient to pass the first content set, successful participation in one or more events associated with the first content set, and achieving a first disposition mode for a social relationship between the player and one or more virtual players in the videogame, and wherein the first content set and the second content set must be passed to complete the videogame; and
an event module configured to manage a first set of events associated with the first content set, and to determine if the player has successfully participated in individual events in the first set of events, and wherein the first set of criteria associated with the first content set requires successful performance of some subset of the first set of events as determined by the event module.

U.S. Patent No. 8,740,707: Video game controller for multiple users
Issued Jun. 3, 2014




Summary:

The ‘707 patent is a hardware patent, which covers a game controller that can be used by two or more players cooperatively. The controller senses real world movement and converts these signals into information that can control game play. The controller relies on conductive materials to sense how many players are using the controller and in which ways.


Abstract:

The present invention provides a video game controller and apparatus that may be used by two or more players. The users physically manipulate the control device cooperatively to the kinesthetic feedback of the other player(s) to control the events of the video game. By working together through orientation of the controller, the players can jointly move the video game object on the screen and/or govern the play of the game.


Illustrative Claim:

1. A video game system for cooperative play by two or more players comprising:
a first conductive material attached to or in contact with a first player's body and a second conductive material attached to or in contact with a second player's body;
a microcontroller in communication with the first and second conductive materials, said microcontroller further being in communication with a computer processing unit (CPU) or a game console;
whereby skin of the first player touching skin of the second player closes a circuit between the first and the second conductive materials and the microcontroller, said circuit closing causing the microcontroller to send a signal to the CPU or the game console thereby causing said CPU or gameconsole to display a video game having at least one game object that responds in accordance with the signal.

U.S. Patent No. 8,591,332: Video game video editor
Issued Nov. 26, 2013, to Activision Publishing, Inc.




Summary:

The ‘332 patent describes a video editor that displays game play clips created while the player is in game. The editor compiles game play video, records information about the clips, and can create compilations based on this information. The editor can also associate particular audio with different video clips, creating an audiovisual presentation. It’s also capable of video overlay editing and music editing. The editing software is used used on the game system, rather than on a separate computer or device.


Abstract:

A video editor for a video game is discussed. The video editor manipulates information of video game play to provide videos of game play and in some embodiments scoring of videos.


Illustrative Claim:

1. A method of providing audiovisual presentations for a video game, comprising:
during game play, saving game state information representative of a set of video clips, each video clip corresponding to a series of images generated during game play;
generating a video compilation using selected video clips from the set of video clips;
modifying the video compilation based on inputs from a video game controller; and
adding at least some audio with the video compilation to thereby form an audiovisual presentation, the at least some audio being associated with events included in the video compilation.
U.S. Patent Not. 8,635,163: System and method for facilitating a video game exchange
Issued Jan. 21, 2014, to Green Man Gaming Limited





Summary:

The ‘163 patent relies on a network and server to allow the resale of digital downloads of games. The system retains records of which games are owned on which devices. Additionally, the system keeps track of game prices for both new and “used” versions of a game, where a “used” version is a digital download being returned for credit towards other purchases. By keeping records of what is owned by whom, the system ensures that a game that is returned for credit does not remain in a player’s inventory after resale. The system focuses exclusively on the sale and resale of games on authorized devices.


Abstract:

A system and method for facilitating the exchange of electronic video games. A video game exchange server provides interacts with a gaming device to permit a game user to buy and load a video game onto the gaming device, to play the game on the gaming device and to return the “used” game for credits that may be used to purchase a new or used game. The game exchange server assigns a price to each new game and used game in its inventory. The game exchange server also assigns a value to each game currently stored on the gaming device. The game price and the game value may decline as a function of time or based on other factors (e.g., a new release). The game exchange server also validates that a video game stored on a gaming device is authorized.


Illustrative Claim:

1. A system for exchanging video games comprising:
a network comprising a plurality of connected computers;
a video game exchange server;
a gaming device comprising a first processor in communication with the videoexchange server via the network, wherein the first processor is coupled to a memory storing executable instructions that when executed by the first processor cause the first processor to perform operations comprising:
downloading a client application from the video game exchange server;
sending, using the client application, a request to the game exchange server to establish an account for the gaming device; and
sending to the game exchange server using the client application an offer to exchange a digital game for which the gaming device has acquired use rights for a game for which gaming device has not acquired use right, wherein the offer to exchange comprises a first unique key assigned to the game offered for exchange;
wherein the video game exchange server comprises a second processor and wherein the second processor is coupled to a memory storing executable instructions that when executed by the second processor causes the second processor to perform operations comprising:
downloading a client application to the gaming device in response to the request from the client application;
establishing an account for the gaming device in response to the request from the client application;
receiving from the gaming device via the client application the offer to exchange the digital game;
confirming from the first unique key that the gaming device has acquired use rights to the digital game offered for exchange;
accepting the offer to exchange the digital game for which the use rights have been confirmed;
storing a second unique key associated with the requested game in a datastore;
retiring the first unique key of the digital game subject to the accepted offer from the datastore.

U.S. Patent No. 8,491,394: Squad vs. squad video game
Issued Jul. 23, 2013, to Microsoft Corporation




Summary:

The ‘394 patent applies to shooter video games, which are focused around competing squads. The patent covers both games in which a single player controls each squad and more than one player controls each squad. The game receives inputs from the controlling players about squad actions and communicates these actions to other systems in the game. The patent also covers the player’s ability to join or leave his or her squad at any point during gameplay without ending the game.


Abstract:

A squad versus squad shooter video game receives input from one or more players via their respective use of controllers in communication with one or more console-based video game systems. The input from each controller is interpreted as a command to a squad in a competition against one or more other squads that are respectively commanded by one or more players via their respective use of controllers. Each squad includes a plurality of characters. Each player is assigned to one of the squads. Actions of each character in the video game are a function of commands given to that character by one of the players. Players can join or exit their assigned squad during game play.


Illustrative Claim:

1. A method comprising:
facilitating play of a game title by one or more players commanding, via their respective use of controllers, a squad in a competition against one or more other squads that are respectively commanded by one or more players via their respective use of controllers, wherein:
each said squad includes a plurality of characters;
each said player is assigned to one said squad;
each said squad has at least one said player assigned thereto; and
action of each said character in the play of the game title is a function of a command given to that character by one said player;
detecting, while any said player is playing the game title, a join condition indicating that a new player would like to join in playing the game title; and
in response to the join condition, assigning a new squad to the new player when it is determined that the new player is to form the new squad.

U.S. Patent No. 8,764,555: Video game application state synchronization across multiple devices
Issued Jul. 1, 2014, to Nextbit Systems Inc.



Summary:

The ‘555 patent deals with the issue of synchronized gaming. It covers a method that initially runs a game on one device, then, after detecting another device within a certain proximity and having the same game installed, can transfer the current place in game to a secondary device. The saved game data is transferred between devices, allowing a player to pick up where she left off on any synchronized  device.


Abstract:

Techniques for a method for automatically synchronizing application state of a video game across multiple devices are disclosed herein. The method includes running an instance of the video game application at a first electronic device, detecting a presence of a second electronic device based on a proximity of the second electronic device to the first electronic device, identifying an installation of another instance of the video game application on the second electronic device, saving a current state of play of the instance of the video game application running on the first electronic device and transmitting the application state data to the second electronic device. The application state data of the video game application enables another instance of the video game application to resume the current state of play of the video game application at the second electronic device.


Illustrative Claim:

1. A computer-implemented method comprising:
running an instance of a video game application at a first electronic device, wherein the first electronic device belongs to a group of electronic devices associated with a user;
detecting a presence of a second electronic device based on a proximity of the second electronic device to the first electronic device, the second electronic device belonging to the group of electronic devices;
identifying an installation of another instance of the video game application or another video game application similar to the video game application on the second electronic device;
saving a current state of play of the instance of the video game application running on the first electronic device, the saving of the current state of play being performed utilizing an in-game save feature included within the videogame application, wherein the in-game save feature saves an application state data representing the current state of play of the instance of the videogame application running on the first electronic device; and
transmitting the application state data to the second electronic device, wherein the application state data of the video game application enables another instance of the video game application to resume the current state of play of the video game application at the second electronic device.

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U.S. Patent No. 8,430,752: Methods and apparatus to meter video game play
Issued Apr. 30, 2013, to The Nielsen Company (US), LLC



Summary:

The ‘752 patent describes a device which can be attached to a controller to track data about controller use, primarily controller  movement. Movement data can include direction as well as magnitude. In addition to the tracking device, the patent describes a metering or recording device that maintains a record of the controller data. In addition to movement, the device might also track whether the device is on, whether the battery needs to be replaced, and the use of a transmitter.


Abstract:

Methods and apparatus to meter video game play are described. An example apparatus to meter video game play includes a tag to be attached to a video game controller, the tag having a sensor to detect a user interaction with the video game controller. The apparatus also includes a meter to receive information reflecting the user interaction.


Illustrative Claim:

1. An apparatus to meter video game play, comprising:
a tag adapted to be attached to a video game controller, the video game controller adapted to interact with a video game system capable of executing a plurality of video games, the tag having a sensor adapted to detect motion data related to movement of the video game controller; and
a meter adapted to receive the motion data from the sensor without affecting operation of the video game system, the meter adapted to attribute the motion data to a user interaction with the video game controller, the meter adapted to detect media identifying information presented in an environment including the video game controller to identify which of the plurality of videogames is being played via the video game controller, and adapted to combine the media identifying information with the motion data received from the sensor.

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