Patent litigation chair Mike Sacksteder spoke with The Recorder about a victory he secured for mobile game developer Supercell, Inc. of “Clash of Clans” fame.
Supercell brought in a Fenwick team led by Sacksteder after Everglades Game Technology LLC filed claims that Supercell’s “Hay Day” infringed on Everglades’ patent for promotional games. Specifically, Everglades claimed that Supercell and a number of other defendants infringed its ‘050 patent for a method to increase the odds of winning in a game that “requires multiple game pieces to be matched in a specific winning combination," according to The Recorder.
On August 21, United States District Court Judge Gregory Sleet ruled in favor of Fenwick client Supercell, dismissing Everglades’ claims and declaring the ‘050 patent invalid because it dealt with an abstract idea under the definition established by the Supreme Court decision in Alice v. CLS Bank in 2014.
Sleet wrote, "Though perhaps some would dispute whether such games are a 'fundamental' economic principle, there can be little doubt that they qualify as a 'longstanding commercial practice' and a 'method of organizing human activity.'"
In other words, the ‘050 patent describes an unpatentable abstract idea under the new rules for patent eligibility established by Alice v. CLS.
The Fenwick team included Lauren Whittemore and Adam Lewin.
More information about the ruling is available through The Recorder and Law360 websites (subscriptions required).