Monday, 01 August 2016 11:24

Patent granted for computer-related invention

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After a long hiatus, IP Australia has granted a patent for a computer-related invention, in this case the software functionality in a gaming machine.

The technology relates to a touch-screen graphical user interface that allows a player to select a game and bet denomination for use in the game.

The patent in question was sought by the gaming company Aristocrat.

The same company obtained a favourable outcome in 2015 as well, when it sued a company named Konami for patent infringement.

Jack Redfern, a principal at the IP legal firm Shelston IP, said in the earlier Federal Court decision relating to Aristocrat, a method of operating a gaming machine was found to be protectable subject matter.

"After the RPL and Research Affiliates decisions from the Federal Court, the patent examiners were rejecting inventions relating to the operation of gaming machines," he said.

"The most recent decision of the patent office once again has the operation of gaming machines as being protectable. While it is not open slather, the reasoning used should also provide scope for securing protection for technologies in other segments.

"Another point to note is that while larger companies, with large patent portfolios, have the resources to strongly advance their interests before the Patent Office, that is not usually the case for the smaller software companies. However, there is still the option for those smaller companies to lobby government to best ensure the patent system serves the needs of both large and small."

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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