Texas Patent Firm Asks Judge to Shut Down Magic: The Gathering: Online

A Texas intellectual property firm has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Wizards of the Coast — but, intriguingly, not parent company Hasbro — alleging that Magic: The Gathering's online version violates patents it holds on a video game you've probably never heard of.

Given that Magic: The Gathering Online is 10 years old, and patent infringement cases are filed in federal court in Texas, like, all the damn time, you're right to suspect this is a garden-variety patent troll case, which have snagged companies as large as Nintendo before. Thanks to US law, a lot of people own patents for the purpose of dragging money out of folks who make something similar, whether that's through licensing or a lawsuit. Here it looks like Wildcat Intellectual Property Holdings of Dallas is going the lawsuit route.

Wildcat says that Wizards of the Coast infringes on at least seven aspects of the "Electronic Trading Card" patent it holds for the game "Unit Commander", which it calls "the ultimate mercenary trading card game". Wildcat is asking a judge for an injunction to shut down Magic: The Gathering Online and stop the alleged infringement.

If, as Dickens wrote, "the law is an ass", then patent law is its hole.

Patent Fight Over Electronic Trading Cards [Courthouse News Service via Game Politics]


    Hahaha, they don't know what Magic the Gathering is...

    Do you even trade cards in Magic The Gathering, I am not one to know anything on this, but its all about Deck Building so you tend to hold onto all your cards.

      Trading is a big part of M:TG if you want to get the cards you need without opening an absurd number of booster packs.

      Example: The other day I picked up a very good card. Unfortunately it's not a card that I'll be playing any time soon due to it not being suitable to put into my deck. I find someone who wants that card and trade it for something I'm looking for and can use.

    The pedant in me wants to point out to Kotaku US that the ass Dickens referred to is a donkey...

    ....mind you, a donkey hole really isn't much better. Well played.

    Someone should just get a patent on patent trolling. That'd shut them up.

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