Considering the immense growth of the mobile and online market, it comes are no surprise that the majority of patent applications in the area of gambling and gaming technology relates to computer programs. Nevertheless, inventors need to beware because patents in this particular sector as not as easily granted as those related to multiplayer online role-playing, authentication for online gaming, and permitting the execution of wagers or entertainment games.
When is a Computer Program for the Casino Industry Patentable?
All applications that include technical aspects are patentable only if they are new and put forward an innovative solution/idea. This means that inventions that have to do with computer programs must have a technical character so they can be patented. If they are using technical means to address the solution of a specific technical problem, then these computer programs are considered patentable, under applicable case law. Even so-called mixed inventions (computer programs that address non-technical issues along with technical problems) are usually patentable. On the other hand, methods, rules, and plans are excluded from patentability under the European Patent Convention (Art. 52).
Patented Casino-Related Technology
You can find patents in almost every industry and field. Some of the most interesting casino patents are:
- Pouch for a Casino Bucket – This is a patent that comes from the 1990s and is a bag that a land-based casino patron can have to carry their winnings in it. Now, after more than two decades, this is an outdated idea considering that slot machines now provide players with winnings vouchers rather than coins.
- Board Game for the Casino– Players that won’t want to lose any money, yet cannot resist testing their luck in a casino, this patterned board game delivers an appealing mix of the element of moving across a board thirsty for victory and the casino element of card games.
- Comfy Casino Chair – The mastermind of this idea envisioned a casino chair that contained a mounting assembly which could provide the player with a comfortable seating sensation by locking the chair into place at a casino table.
- Dealing Shoe – Besides dealing out cards, this modular dealing shoe can also read and analyse card data.
- Smart Casino Chip – Unlike common casino chips, the smart chips contain a transporter that communicates with a computer located at a dealer’s table. The goal is to determine the primary and secondary wager values during a game.
- 888 Baccarat – College students that enrolled in the Gaming Innovation Program at the Nevada University invented more than a dozen of casino games, including a non-commission version of the popular card game.
Word of Notice: Patents in the online gambling industry can be used to protect some elements. However, one of the main issues for the majority of developers is piracy and the fact that some other elements of their creations can be easily replicated without anyone facing any consequences. It is amazing how small changes in a handful of elements can allow a developer to use the same theme and features under a different name.