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Title Computer system for creating and playing location aware games

Publication number US20070087828 A1

The wording of this patent application: US20070087828 leads me to believe that any location aware game would be doing what it claims, such as Global Outbreak or even Geocaching. Is this the case or am I interpreting this patent too broadly?

The first independent claim of US20070087828:

  1. Computer system for creating and playing location aware games comprising:

    • computing device with display;
    • plurality of virtual effects having size and interaction rules;
    • a user interface to permit a user to select and view a gameboard based off of an inputted location and assign virtual effects to locations within the gameboard;
    • a storage means for storing said gameboard and said plurality of virtual effects;
    • a second user interface to permit a user to view said gameboard and said plurality of virtual effects while playing a game;
    • a controller to control the location of one or more virtual effects during game play based on input from at least one of the following: a computer mouse, a screen stylus and a location receiver;
    • a timing device used by the controller to establish cadence of play.
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The scope of this patent application actually covers (at least) ALL computer games. While the independent claims mention "location aware games" in their category, no corresponding features are found in the claims themselves. Claim 1 only recites moving "virtual effects" to "locations" on the GAMEBOARD using, among other things, a mouse. In effect, this is anticipated by every video game known. The same appears to be true for the other independent claims.

No patent has been granted, BTW. USPTO PAIR states "Abandoned -- Failure to Respond to an Office Action".

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  • Ah, should've checked PAIR first. It seemed like a rather broad patent that had the potential to ruin a lot of games. Glad it was never granted. – Michael Celey Jul 7 '13 at 23:46
  • To be pedantic, the independent claims -- although vague about what "location" means in different contexts -- are specific in that they require a second user being able to view the gameplay. Also, the requirement of timing to establish a "cadence of play" probably means non-real time and turn-based games are not covered. – kinkfisher Jul 13 '13 at 8:28
  • I beg to differ. No "second user" is claimed, only a "user interface" and a "second user interface". Both these are viewed by "a user". This may well be the same user in both cases. No effective limitation can be recognized. "Timing device [establishing] cadence of play" has no well-defined meaning in the art and lacks a further definition in the claim. The fact that you have to speculate about its meaning by stating "probably means non-real time" illustrates this. No limitation can be recognized beyond the fact that there is SOME concept of "time" in the game, as in virtually every game. – Dr. Stephen Falken Jul 14 '13 at 17:42

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