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:

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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.)
  • 2
    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. Sep 14, 2012 at 20:56
  • 1
    @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. Sep 17, 2012 at 17:12

1 Answer 1


@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

  • 3
    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. Sep 18, 2012 at 17:37
  • Lots of kids games have dice that with colors on them instead of numbers or pips.
    – pjz
    Sep 20, 2012 at 15:09

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