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Law of Cards: Patent Application Filed for Virtual Opening of Card Packs

Law of Cards: Patent Application Filed for Virtual Opening of Card Packs

File this under: "Just because someone files a patent application, does not mean he or she will get a patent."

On August 6, the Patent Office published a patent application that I think those in the trading card industry might want to watch. A company called Hothead Games, Inc. filed the application and it is entitled, "Virtual Opening of Boxes and Packs."

Patentese translation: This title is so simple, it’s confusing. At first glance, it doesn’t seem to need a translation. But wait, what exactly does "Virtual Opening of Boxes and Packs" mean? Does it cover someone opening a virtual pack of cards on their computer screen? That doesn't seem overly inventive. Or, is this some kind of virtual reality where a “virtual you” can somehow open actual packs from miles away?

You know, for some of the crappy products I've opened before, it would have been best to open them from miles away, but, with that title, I doubt that's what the patent covers.

The pictures in the patent application don't help either, because, well, I'm not sure what's going on in them. Really, it looks like there are some cartoonish James Dean wannabe figures throwing a fit and cursing.

The information provided in Paul Lesko's "Law of Cards" column is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues commonly encountered in the sports industry. This information is not intended to create any legal relationship between Paul Lesko, the Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC or any attorney and the user. Neither the transmission nor receipt of these website materials will create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the readers.

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Paul Lesko has litigated complex and intellectual property actions for over 18 years. Don’t hold the fact that Paul is a lawyer against him, he’s also a rabid baseball and college basketball fan, and an avid card collector. He's also the author of the novel Gastric Bypass, available for purchase at Amazon. Paul can be found on Twitter @Paul_Lesko and Google+.

User Comments

Nick Mikulicich
Nick Mikulicich

This looks a lot like what DeckDaq has been doing for Facebook games. Not sure when they developed their software, but their branded games released no later than Sept. 2012 (and had to reach licensing deals before games went live).

Been doing this for years on Madden Ultimate Team. :P

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