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WotC vs WizKids

From Gaming Report

WizKids has filed a lawsuit against Wizards of the Coast (WOTC), seeking a Declaratory Judgment concerning WOTC’s patent (patent #7,201,374, referred to as “the ‘374 patent”) on Constructible Strategy Games, specifically seeking a judgment that the Pirates game does not infringe the patent, and that the patent is, in fact, invalid anyway. Filed May 25 in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle, the suit claims that WOTC contacted WizKids via a letter in May 2004 concerning the filing of the patent, and that “…WOTC asserted that WizKid’s Pirates game fell squarely within many of the proposed claims of the pending patent application. WOTC warned that when the patent [was] issued, WOTC would have the right to sue WizKids for an injunction and damages. WOTC threatened that it would take legal action against WizKids if or when a patent was allowed if WizKids did not cease and desist selling its Pirates game. WizKids responded to the letter on June 4, 2004, denying that the Pirates game was within the scope of any of the then pending claims of WOTC’s patent application.” The suit goes on to mention that WOTC contacted WizKids on May 21, 2007, concerning the awarding of the patent, and stating that “…the parties would have to come to an agreement regarding the ‘374 patent and the Pirates game. WizKids denied, and has consistently denied throughout, that the Pirates game infringes the ‘374 patent.” The “Prayer for Relief” section, which lists the decisions that WizKids would like the judge to make in regards the suit, asks for, among other things, “entry of a judgment and declaration that the ‘374 patent is not infringed,” “entry of a judgment and declaration that the ‘374 patent is invalid,” and “entry of a preliminary and/or permanent injunction enjoining defendant [i.e. WOTC], its officers, agents, servants, employees, attorneys, and those in active concert or participation with it from accusing, threatening, or pursuing litigation against WizKids, its customers, agents, employees, or users of WizKids’ methods and products as to infringement of the ‘374 patent.” Story developing. The suit is file stamped as Civil Action No. C07-0809MJP.
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