The result for Innovention Toys has been a $1.6 million judgement in their favour.
The Colorado Springs Business Journal reported this week that,
"In a patent-stealing case that pitted a small toy company against one of the country’s toy making giants, the little guy won. A Louisiana federal jury has awarded nearly $1.6 million in damages to a game company, owned by UCCS professor Michael Larson, that accused MGA Entertainment of copying its patented Laser Beam Chess-like Board Game."
The Game of Khet (formerly Deflexion) involves abstract strategy similar in process to a Chess Set, wherein players take alternate turns to move their pieces over the board before firing a laser, the path of which is determined by positioning mirrored sides on the playing pieces. If a piece is struck by the laser on one of its non-mirrored sides, then it is eliminated.
The Colorado jury found that MGA, "was liable for wilful patent infringement."
Khet, from 2005, is based on a video game from 1987. MGA published Laser Battle, a nearly identical game, a year later in 2006. Khet’s patent on the game of movable pieces with lasers and with or without mirrors was filed Feb 13, 2006 and awarded September 4, 2007.
MGA’s defenses were that not all of their pieces are meant to be moved, to which the judge ruled that, although they’re not all meant to be moved, they can be moved, so they’re still movable. One raises the question that if some of the pieces had actually been immobile, would the suit would have lost?.
The second defence of MGA was that the patent is too obvious, since any layman could translate a video game to a board game, to which the judge ruled that this is not so for this game.
MGA plans to file a motion for reconsideration but for now the irony of a back adn forth chess like court case has meant at least a small laser victory for Michael Larson.
For more Chess News and Product Reviews visit http://www.gamesfromeverywhere.com.au/