Coming soon to a gaming console near you: “Patent Infringement: Secrets of the USPTO”

March 15, 2013

Patent Infringement Secrets of the USPTOIn the entertainment field, if you stay static, you wither.

Witness the music industry, which only recently figured out a workable model based around digital sales, rather than CDs, and the Hollywood, which lately hasn’t done too much to convince consumers that going to the theater is still an experience worth paying $12 (or $14 or $20) for.

Until recently, the video game industry hasn’t had too much to worry about. Games like “Call of Duty” and “Gears of War” have performed like gangbusters, especially among young men, a demographic much-coveted for their disposable income and ample leisure time.

Young men, though, aren’t a demographic known for their loyalty, or aversion to novelty. Mindful of the turmoil the music and film fields had to go through, video game-makers haven’t been resting on their laurels. They seem to know they have to find “the next big thing” or get left behind.

The next innovation in gaming appears to be 3D games in which viewers, wearing special glasses, can immerse themselves. On Thursday, Nintendo said it had been ordered to pay $30 million to Sony after infringing on a Sony patent that enabled the 3D experience. Nintendo plans to appeal the ruling.

Accusations of infringement are not uncommon in the technology industry, and of course, Nintendo and Sony are very tech-dependent companies. It’s somewhat less common in entertainment, though, where intellectual property disputes are more likely to pertain to trademarks and copyrights. This lawsuit makes me wonder whether we’ll see more lawsuits and disputes as video game-makes scramble to stay ahead of the curve.

Maybe “Patent Infringement: Secrets of the USPTO” might be an option for future gamers?