Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Bally Wants "Great Balls of Cash" from IGT in Slot Machine Patent Battle

Not wasting a second to take the next shot in its never-ending patent battle with IGT, Bally has sued its rival for infringing its "Indicator wheel system" patent the very day it was issued -- natch, in the District of Nevada. These companies, who seem to enjoy these battles, have been suing each other back and forth for years. Indeed, IGT's "20 monumental ideas in the history of the slot machine" cites not one but two critical Bally stumbles in establishing a slots portfolio: Bally's failure to patent video poker and allowing IGT to steal the stepper motor patent for virtual reel slot machines from under its nose.

Stay tuned as these behemoths ratchet up the game another notch.

What I found odd about this story was that the infringing slot machines included games I had never even dreamed existed -- a Regis Philbin game, "Drew Carey Great Balll of Cash," and most disturbingly a Dilbert slot entitled "Dilbert Wheelbert!"

What's next? Dubya's White House Casino?

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