[MUD-Dev] DNA Game Patent [was Randy's Resume]

Jessica Mulligan jessica at mm3d.com
Sat Aug 4 07:57:04 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


Kevin Littlejohn <darius at bofh.net.au> wrote:

> More than an obvious progression, it's 1) been discussed lots and
> lots by various people in the mud community, for, um, well, as
> long as I can remember - people want to port characters from mud
> to mud, it's hardly a unique idea, and 2) already in existence in
> products like NWN, surely?  Even Id Software discussed the idea of
> portals from one game to another once upon a time - sure, the
> mapping function is _usually_ trivial from one game to another,
> but there's always a mapping function of some sort there, even if
> it's very close to the identity function.

> I don't understand, if that's the patent, how it can be claimed to
> belong to them as an idea.  But then, I'm patent-unknowledgable.

If I understand the process correctly (and I'm a layman, too,
although I have some recent experience working with patent lawyers),
the mere fact that there were various discussions of an idea or
concept doesn't represent prior art.  What is required for 'art,' so
I understand, is someone putting down an execution of an idea, on
paper or in code and in detail, how such a concept would or does
work.

In other words, unless someone can show that some game(s) or design
did what 3DO's patent claims do, before the original patent filing
date and in general circulation, the patents most likely take
precedence.

>From what I gather from reading the patent, the uniqueness of 3DO's
patent is in describing how objects are moved between disparate game
genres and also take on contextual relevance in the new game after
transference.  My reading of it seems to say that just plain object
transference is not enough, that the object has to transfer *and*
have that contextual relevance (i.e. the example of the super knight
moving to Risk and transforming to an enhanced tank).

That may not be a correct reading, but it seems good to me, <g> .

-Jessica




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