In the business of video games, intellectual property is critical to success, and Patents, Copyrights, and Trademarks are the bricks with which your IP portfolio is built. The Patent Arcade is the web’s primary resource for video game IP law, news, cases, and commentary.

U.S. Patent No. 10,758,828: Music mash up collectable card game


Issued September 1, 2020, to Hasbro Inc.
Filed: March 19, 2018 (claiming priority to March 17, 2017)


I know what I want for Christmas this year...



Overview:


U.S. Patent No. 10,758,828 (the ‘828 patent) relates to a board game which allows players to “mash up” pieces of songs contained on collectable cards. The ‘828 patent details a playing card reader system which reads playing cards containing circuit tags for transmitting information associated with the card. A housing has a reading area, which is a surface on which playing cards are placed. In the housing there is an antenna subsystem which receives the information associated with the cards on the surface and a tag reader which reads the type information identifiers from each card. The housing also contains a light source to illuminate the surface and an actuator for changing one or more of the light’s colors to be associated with the cards in play. Lastly, the housing contains an audio subsystem which communicates with an information processor to play announcement sounds and music compositions.



The ‘828 patent is implemented in the game DropMix, where each playing card is associated with a part of a song (usually a well-known song). Players can place a card on the board and, depending on the game type selected and where the card is placed, an element of that song is played and can be “mashed up” with other song elements. The colors of the cards are associated with what parts of the song they will play, green being bass, for example. So, by using DropMix, one could combine the vocals of Boom Boom Pow, by The Black Eyed Peas, the Melody of Down with the Sickness by Disturbed, the percussion of Jolene by Dolly Parton, and the bass of Flutter Fly (from the Pyre Original Soundtrack – a special promotional card) by Darren Korb. And then if your friend doesn’t like the combination, they could throw Europe’s The Final Countdown wildcard on any of the tracks to change it up. With a variety of game modes and even an option for single player, the ‘828 patent seems like an interesting way to flex one’s creative muscles with friends!


 


Abstract:


An intuitive music composition game platform with various modes of operation in a single reader system and a music mash up collectable card game and method using cards with tags and unique identifications. A single reading platform includes a cover for card storage and for supporting a smart device platform for reading many Near Field communication (NFC) embedded cards, with stacking features and colored light indicated input lanes selection for user identification and selection. Various game modes include individual, studio mix, party modes game play features in music mash up collectable card games, which may be used together with or independent of accessory devices as controllers, or smart device user interfaces with Bluetooth™ or Wi-Fi for communicating user selection and operation.


 


Illustrative Claim:



  1. A playing card reader game system for reading a plurality of type information identifiers, the system comprising: a multiplicity of integrated circuit tags, each tag including type information identifiers; a multiplicity of playing cards, each card including at least one tag for transmitting one or more of the type information identifiers associated with the tag of each card; a first housing comprising only a single reading area at a surface region of the housing for collecting a plurality of the cards each placed serially with one another in a series forming a collection of two or more cards at the surface region of the housing; an antenna subsystem in the housing with an antenna signal range to receive the type information identifiers associated with the collection of cards at the surface region; a tag reader for reading the type information identifiers received with the antenna subsystem from each card of the collection of cards at the surface region; a light source for simultaneously illuminating one or more of a multiplicity of illuminating colors in relation to the surface region of the housing; an actuator for changing one or more of the illuminating colors, the actuator further selecting the type information identifiers associated with the cards at the surface region to be received with the antenna subsystem; an information processor; and an audio subsystem in communication with the information processor at the first housing for issuing announcement sounds and music composition sounds responsive to the tag reader, light source and actuator.


U.S. Patent No. 6,699,127: Real-time replay system for video game


Issued March 2, 2004, to Nintendo of America, Inc.
Filed: September 27, 2000 (claiming priority to June 20, 2000)




Overview:

U.S. Patent No. 6,699,127 (the ‘127 patent) relates to a real-time replay system for a video game which allows players to instantly replay gameplay. The ‘127 patent details a method of replaying gameplay by recording keyframes corresponding to gameplay conditions to allow a player to “wind back” gameplay and watch it back or take over control of gameplay from a particular moment. The player is also enabled to freeze the replay at any time and change at least one camera characteristic, like changing the perspective.

The ‘127 patent appears to be for an instant replay system in the N64 Tony Hawk Pro Skater games, but its unclear whether the ability to control the character in the replay ever made it into the game. A similar replay system is now used in modern Mario Kart games.  Other games, such as Microsoft’s Forza racing franchise, offer a “rewind” capability where a user can rewind the game to replay from a previous point in time in order to improve their game results (e.g., if you crash, you can rewind and then continue driving from a point when you still had control of your car).

 

Abstract:

A system and method for enabling real-time replay for videogames, wherein the player can selectively rewind the videogame to previously played points in the game in order to replay portions of the game during real-time. Inline keyframes are periodically recorded, together with the controller information, so that upon selecting the replay option, the game can be rewound to the nearest keyframe. Once rewound, the game is restored based on the keyframe and is then played back from the keyframe using the stored controller information. At any point during playback, the player can take-over the action and use the actual game controller to begin actual play of the game from that point in the playback sequence. The player can also change cameras and speed for the playback in real-time at any time during the playback.

 

Illustrative Claim:

  1. A method of providing real-time replay during gameplay in an interactive video game system, comprising: starting real-time gameplay; recording an inline keyframe at predetermined time intervals during gameplay; recording controller input from a user during gameplay; upon selection by the user of a predetemined controller input prior to the end of a game: backing-up the gameplay a set period of gameplay time from the current gameplay condition to a previous gameplay condition; using a recorded inline keyframe generally corresponding to the previous gameplay condition and the recorded controller inputs to generate and display at least a partial real-time replay of the game from the previous gameplay condition to the current gameplay condition; and enabling the user to take over the replay to begin real-time gameplay at any time during the replay and from a point in the replay where the user has taken over the replay by supplying controller input, wherein the recordings of inline keyframes and recording of controller inputs is performed based on an internal logic rate of the video game system; and further including enabling the replay to be frozen at any time during the replay and allowing the user to change at least one of camera characteristic and playback speed for the replay while the replay is frozen, and further including recording any changes to the camera characteristic or playback speed in an array of random keyframe buffers together with information that determines on which frame of the replay the recorded changes are to take effect.

U.S. Patent No. 10,765,955: Video game notifications for streaming games


Issued September 8, 2020, to Activision Publishing Inc.
Filed: April 23, 2018 (claiming priority to December 27, 2017)



Overview:


U.S. Patent No. 10,765,955 (the ‘955 patent) relates to requested notifications indicating occurrence of video game play events, which provide access to gameplay live streams. The ‘955 patent details a method of providing notifications concerning video game play events to users, first by receiving requests from the users for such notifications, storing the requests on one or more servers, then determining whether gameplay events on game servers match the notification request of a given user. If a match is found, a notification is provided to the user. The notification can include information allowing the viewer to view a live stream of gameplay from the game server where the match occurred. The ‘955 patent could allow gamers to get personalized notifications for limited-time events, get streams of game events that they need help with, or even stay current with the meta of how players are tactically approaching gameplay events.


 


Abstract:


Users may request notification of occurrence of video game play events. Upon occurrence of the video game play events, the users may be provided access to live streams of play of the video games. In some embodiments the video game play events may occur across play of a multitude of video games using a multitude of game hosts, including in some embodiments different video games, and play of the video games may be at unscheduled times.


 


Illustrative Claim:



  1. A method of providing notifications to users of occurrence of video game play events, comprising: receiving, by at least one server of one or more servers, a plurality of requests for notification of occurrence of video game play events from a plurality of devices of a plurality of requestors, each of the requests for notification specifying a video game play event and including an identification of the requestor making the request; storing, by at least one server of the one or more servers, information of the requests for notification of occurrence of video game play events; determining, by at least one server of the one or more servers, whether information regarding play of a plurality of video games on a plurality of game servers matches the information of the requests for notification of occurrence of video game play events; and in response to determining the existence of a match, providing, by at least one server of the one or more servers, a notification comprising an identifier of the matched video game play event to particular ones of the plurality of devices corresponding to requestors making a request for the matched video game play event.



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