Konami Corporation v. Roxor Games Inc., 2-05CV-173 (E.D.Tex), filed May 9, 2005.

Konami Corporation has filed a lawsuit against Roxor Games, Inc., in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, alleging patent infringement, trademark infringement, unfair competition, trademark dilution, and trade dress infringement, under both Federal and Texas law. The issue: Konami’s game Dance Dance Revolution:

Konami alleges that Roxor sells and distributes an In The Groove (ITG) video arcade game kit, that a purchaser can use to retrofit one of Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) arcade games. As alleged by Konami, the kit comes with instructions on how to remoce the original main circuit board from the DDR game and replace it with the ITG game circuit board. The following was clipped from the InTheGoove.biz web site earlier today:

The patent at issue is U.S. Pat. No. 6,410,835, entitled Dance Game Apparatus And Step-On Base For Dance Game, issued June 25, 2002. Figure 2 of the ‘835 patent is shown below:

While the Complaint does not specifically call out particular claims, claim 1 of the ‘835 patent is reproduced below:
1. A dance game apparatus comprising: music output means for outputting one piece of music from at least one stored piece of music; a floor panel having a step-on base section; said step-on base section comprising a top panel and a support member which supports the panel; detection means for detecting a stepping operation on said step-on base section; said detection means comprising stepping sensors interposed between said panel and said support member at mutually opposing positions of said panel; said stepping sensors comprising longitudinally extending conductive sections having a longitudinal length, one of said conductive sections being moveable laterally relative to another of said conductive sections at any one of a plurality of positions along the longitudinal length of said one conductive section to effect contact with said other conductive sections at any one of a plurality of corresponding contact positions such that said stepping sensors detect stepping on said step-on base sections at plural locations corresponding to said plurality of corresponding contact positions, guidance means for performing a stepping operation instruction to said step-on base section in time with said music; measurement means for measuring a time deviation between the timing of a stepping operation instruction and the time at which the fact that said step-on base section is stepped on is detected by said detection means; and evaluation means for providing a higher score the smaller the measurement result.

Read Konami’s press release here.

We’ll add this case to our watch list and keep you posted of future developments.

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