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WotC CCG Patent

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VeritasGames
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Joined: 08/01/2008

WotC has long claimed that their patent applies to all CCGs, not just MTG. However, Decipher and others have patents for CCGs which seemingly compete with some or all of WotC's patent claims.

I remember a long time ago that WotC was offering patent licenses to allow other companies to produce CCGs.

Is anyone operating under patent license from WotC? Or has anyone specifically printed one or more CCGs without a license from WotC?

Unless you are a lawyer, I'm not really interested in nay-saying re: the scope of WotC's patent. It looks like the kind of thing that Hasbro may go to the mat on and which is gray enough that it looks like it could present me with a lot of litigation if I merely ignore it.

So, I want to know about the experiences of others who have either thoroughly researched the subject, who have applied for a WotC licensed, etc.

Thanks

Anonymous
WotC CCG Patent

Z-man's company (Z-man Games) has produced a CCG (Shadowfist) and may have some knowledge. You could PM him (though he hasn't posted since May) or check his website for contact information.

Anonymous
WotC CCG Patent

Unfortunately, if you want legitimate legal advice, you're unlikely to get it here--I imagine there are precious few patent attorneys who frequent this board.

I have produced a customizable (but non-collectible) card game. I do not have a license from WotC, but I did read their patent over carefully to see if I was going to get my nuts sued off. The fact is, the patent as it is worded is rather ambivalent and as far as I can tell it covers ALL collectible game components--they may have a case against Wizkids for their collectible miniatures games for all I can tell. I imagine they haven't pursued it, though, because they don't want their already-victorious battle to be overturned because the court realizes it's ridiculously broad.

As I read it, they've got patents on "Tapping" (turning cards to pay for other cards) and collectible game components that have their own rules. So if it's collectible, you could be in danger, but just having a card game shouldn't be covered.

But that was my interpretation. I would advise reading it yourself if you're worried. (The advice everyone else always gives is "Get a lawyer" but I know that's BS considering a lawyer costs more than an indie publisher will ever make on a product, making the whole thing moot)

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