Slot Machine Maker and Casinos Sued for Patent Infringement

By Joseph Mandour on May 11, 2012

Patent AttorneysSan Diego – Rembrandt Gaming Technologies of Arlington, Virginia has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against slot machine manufacturer WMS Gaming and four casino operators over allegations that a certain feature on the slot machines infringe the company’s patent.

The patent infringement complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for Nevada, has named WMS, Boyd Gaming Corp., Caesars Entertainment Operating Co., MGM Resorts International Operations Incorporated, and Penn National Gaming Inc. as defendants that have allegedly infringed on Rembrandt’s “Electronic Second Spin Slot Machine” patent. According to the lawsuit, the machines reportedly have an automatic “re-spin” feature and include titles such as Dr. Jackpot, Dukes of Hazzard, Ghostbusters, Sex and the City, and Wheel of Fortune Triple Spin.

Rembrandt released a press saying that the patent at issue was granted in 2003 with New Mexico-based computer scientist Michael J. Dietz as the inventor.

“Michael Dietz used his imagination and technical skills to invent the slot machine hold and re-spin feature claimed in his patent. Very simply, the defendants used Mr. Dietz’s invention for their profit and did not pay for their use,” stated Rembrandt’s chairman, Paul Schneck, in the press release.

In the lawsuit, Rembrandt submitted evidence of a WMS promotional video that was explaining the re-spin feature as: WMS Spinning Streak machines have fifteen reels spinning independently and when a winning symbol appears, it is held while the other reels re-spin. The announcer in the video exclaims, “Finally, a slot machine that holds on to the good stuff!”

Rembrandt IP Management, a patent enforcement company, and owner of the plaintiff Rembrandt Gaming Technologies, released the following statement regarding the lawsuit: “We work with owners of strong patents that have great market value, and we enforce these patents against major companies that may infringe upon them.”

A spokesperson for WMS said the company could not comment on pending litigation.

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Posted in: Patent Infringement