IP Australia has revoked four innovation gaming patents held by Aristocrat Technologies related to the use of configurable symbols in a game, saying the inventions didn’t amount to anything other than games and game rules.
Delegate Delegate Xavier Gisz revoked the patents in a July 5 judgment, saying he could not find a technical contribution in the inventions, which he said amounted to “games and game rules”.
“Games and game rules are considered a scheme and are not a manner of manufacture,” Gisz said.
He did not allow Aristocrat to amend the patents.
The delegate found a common feature of the four inventions – a game known as hold and spin in which configurable symbols from the main game are held in place while the other symbols are removed – was an intangible game rule and did not provide a technical effect, Gisz found.
Similarly, the game that arises from the games rules is “intangible and thus not a manner of manufacture,” the delegate found.
The symbols can be used for different purposes – to award prizes, trigger a feature game, or determine whether a feature game continues or ends, among other things.
The delegate shot down another common feature of the inventions – that they generate prize money for the winner and revenue for the machine owner – saying schemes for making money “are not considered a manner of manufacture.”
The delegate also found the hold and spin feature as well as Aristocrat’s Hyperlink feature – which describes a method for determining a trigger event on a gaming machine is not a technical effect – were disclosed in earlier patents, Gisz said.
Gisz also said the Hyperlink system was a mere “algorithm that facilitates the game” and therefore did not involve a manner of manufacture.”
A hearing was held on the patents after adverse reports were issued on all four patents in the wake of exam requests.
The patents at issue are divisional from patent number 2015210489, filed August 10, 2015 and had the same effective filing date.
Aristocrat Technologies was represented by Griffith Hack.
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