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The "Die for use in game play" patent application describes a die that returns two independent (random) variables. According to the application, one is ("preferably") a color. The other, as you might surmise, is a number that can range from 1 to 6. This illustration in the application demonstrates the latter mechanism:

enter image description here

Given the prevalence of devices that deliver that second (numerical) variable, can anyone find an example of prior art for either:

  1. A device triggered by a user action that delivers a random color
  2. A device triggered by a user action that delivers two independent variables (i.e. a letter and a number, two unrelated letters, etc.)
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A die inside a die a.k.a. double dice (e.g. amazon.com/Koplow-Games-Inc-Double-Dice/dp/B000F8VAE2) would be prior art for 2. But all the claims in this patent have the color of the die be one of the random variables. –  Gilles Sep 14 '12 at 20:56
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@Gilles Please post your comment as an answer. I understand that this only addresses part of the question, but comments are better used to help improve the question, not to answer them. –  Robert Cartaino Sep 17 '12 at 17:12

2 Answers 2

You might want to have a look at the following patents for the first question:

Method of and apparatus for playing a card game (7980933) looks like it could cover both:

The invention provides an electronic video game apparatus which includes a display for displaying a video depiction of a first card game on the display. Each card in the first card game has a card suit, a card value and a card color.

enter image description here

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the problem with this kind of patent is that someone will(or has) come along and patented a claim to depict the card on a MOBILE DEVICE and somehow that is state of the art and novel. –  geeksweep Sep 21 '12 at 14:11

@Gilles found these dice for sale on Amazon, which return two independent variables. (Each is a number from 1 to 6). (He posted his find as a comment above.)

This item clearly establishes that no claims can reasonably made for the novelty of a die-like invention returning two independent variables.

That would seem to limit the potential viability of this patent to the question of whether one of those variables being a color, rather than a number, is sufficiently useful and non-obvious.

enter image description here

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Given the very low bar on novelty these days, I think that the color changing would not be considered obvious. If there was separate prior art for both dice that change colors when you roll them and dice that return two independent variables, putting them together would be an obvious combination. –  Gilles Sep 18 '12 at 17:37
    
Lots of kids games have dice that with colors on them instead of numbers or pips. –  pjz Sep 20 '12 at 15:09
    

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