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Online Casino News - July, 2009

Playtech Off the Hook in Patent Infringement Case


  Seed Newsvine

by Edward Rogers, News Staff Writer

July 18, 2009

In similar fashion to the way the classic Bodog patent dispute went down, top-tier online casino software developer, Playtech, has been taken to court by a little known company named Cranway Ltd. However, unlike the Bodog case, Playtech has been found innocent of any patent infringement. Costa Rica based Bodog, most people would surmise, is a far cry from being in the "green". Playtech, however, is an AIM listed pioneering software developer on the London Stock Exchange.

The high court, which was presided over by the Honourable Mr. Justice Lewison, has ruled that Cranway Ltd.'s supposed invention-in-question does not qualify for patentability, and as such, clears Playtech from any wrongdoing. In other words, the court ruled that Cranway's patent was invalid to begin with.

Even if the patent had been deemed valid, Playtech would have likely been let off the hook, considering the fact that they never supplied services directly to end-user's participating in gambling activities at Playtech's online casino licensees. In fact, all of the company's named in the patent infringement case, which included Tote (Totesport NV, Totesport Alderney and Totesport Credit Ltd), Techplay Marketing and PTVB Management, were cleared of any wrong doing.

According to Tote and Playtech, Cranway Ltd.'s patent was invalid for three very obvious reasons. Besides the fact that Cranway's invention is not even an invention to begin with, Playtech says the innovation and technology referred to in the patent dispute was "obvious" and dated. Specifically, the patent refers to auditing and security protocols that ensure a fair gaming system, as well as online casino playing modes.

Both sides presented expert testimony in the fields of computer science and software engineering, with arguments largely centering on semantics of the definitions of the technology involved. While the Isle of Man registered Cranway Ltd. is a legitimate software technology developer in their own right, the patent simply could not stand up in the court of law.



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