Electronic Arts Pledges to Share Innovative Technologies Which Help Disabled Gamers
Electronic Arts (“EA”) has pledged to help breakdown barriers for players with disabilities or medical issues through sharing technologies which help such individuals. EA has promised to not enforce its patent rights in (as of 9/8/2021) five patents, in hopes of these technologies being used by other developers to accommodate players. The only exception to this rule is if someone files a lawsuit against EA, it reserves the right to defensively terminate the pledge for only that party/individual.
This decision by EA to share technologies which help accommodate disabilities could help make the gaming space more accessible. It also comes at a time in which there has been a recent influx in patents which help accommodate disabilities or medical issues in gaming. An example of a similarly helpful patent (which we will cover soon) is U.S. Patent No. 10,977,872, which allows graphical style modification and is assigned to Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc.
“Patent pledges” like this are seen as ways to make beneficial technologies available to other industry players while still reserving defensive rights. For example, Tesla made a pledge in 2014 to allow anyone to use their patented technologies for electric vehicles, so long as they have not come after Tesla or any third parties with their own patent infringement claims on electric vehicles.
Overall, decisions like this may benefit the gaming community in becoming a more inclusive place. Experiences once unavailable to some may become available, and sharing technologies may mean that individuals will have access to more game experiences outside of just one publisher.
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