Bingo Patents Thrown Out by US Federal Court

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit supported a lower court's ruling to invalidate two patents, numbered 6,398,646 and 6,656,045, related to online bingo.

"Generally, the claims recite storing a player's preferred sets of bingo numbers; retrieving one such set upon demand, and playing that set; while simultaneously tracking the player's sets, tracking player payments, and verifying winning numbers," said the three-judge panel. "Variants between the claims include display capabilities and options to purchase sets of bingo numbers."

The case started out as a dispute between two online bingo providers, Planet Bingo and Video King.

Melange Computer Services received the approval for the patents in 2002 and eventually sold to Planet Bingo in 2006.

Planet Bingo eventually filed a claim against Video King resulting in a judge throwing out the patents saying that bingo management "consists solely of mental steps which can be carried out by a human using pen and paper."

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