In reference to the patent: US8807568

I would like to know how this patent works. Is it only a utility patent for a certain part of the game or is the patent broader, i.e the whole game is patented? I'm working on a school project where we need to evaluate different patents and I found this one interesting. What would happen if the game was re-created under a different brand but with the same core idea? Many thanks in advance.

  • 1
    Look at the claims, they define the protection. – DonQuiKong Apr 14 '17 at 20:45

Briefly reading the claims, it looks like only the apparatus and how it is constructed is claimed. The claims don't specify the rules of the game. For instance, it claims an elastic surface. If you make a version with a rigid surface you are probably safe from infringement. To infringe on a claim, you have to implement every part of the claim. You do, however need to recognize that there is potential for a different patent that claims rigid surfaces, or is not specific about the surface. Avoiding infringement of one patent doesn't guarantee you avoid infringement of all patents.

This is just an analysis based on a brief readings for the claims. You should also read the rest of the patent in case some aspects of the claims are interpreted in a nonstandard way.

With regards to your last question:

What would happen if the game was re-created under a different brand but with the same core idea?

The brand name doesn't matter with patents. If you infringe only one or more claims, you may be sued.

| improve this answer | |
  • Also, the claims require a "generally circular" playing surface. A square or triangular surface would presumably not fall under the claims. – George White Mar 12 '18 at 22:18
  • @GeorgeWhite Absolutely. I used the phrase “for instance” to indicate that my example was not the only possibility. – Eric S Mar 12 '18 at 22:23

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