Wildcat v. Wizards: "Magic" patent battle brewing
A few years ago, Wizards of the Coast (a subsidiary of Hasbro), creators of the popular trading card game Magic: The Gathering, developed Magic: The Gathering Online, a video game version of the trading card game.
Wildcat Intellectual Property Holdings, a Texas holding company, has now sued Wizards (the Gandalf of the trading card industry) - claiming that Magic: The Gathering Online violates at least seven aspects of Wildcat's "Electronic Trading Card" US Patent No. 6200216, which was filed by Wildcat in 1995 and issued in March 2001.
The patent covers multiple aspects of electronic trading card usage, including: "A system for the application of a trading card metaphor to a disassociated computer program and the unique design of several hardware and software systems supports and enhances collecting, trading, game playing, and creating of digital electronic trading cards by taking the traditional trading card metaphor and uniquely updating and enhancing it for application in consumer digital media".
Wildcat claims that Wizards violates the patent by making, using, selling, hosting, and/or providing access to within the US and/or importing into the US, Magic: The Gathering Online.
Wizards are also publishers of the enormously popular Dungeons & Dragons game.