Crossing swords with 1st Technology can be an expensive experience
InfoPowa readers will recall the acrimonious and controversial legal clashes over Internet gambling patents that saw 1st Technology LLC and the Bodog online gambling group clash two years ago, with serious consequences for the Bodog brand that were resolved only later in a settlement.
One of the developments flowing from the dispute was a request that 1st Technology's comprehensive patent 5,564,001 for online gambling over the Internet be re-examined, and news surfaced this week that the patent had survived this test.
The company received a notice advising it that all of the original claims of the patent were confirmed and a number of additional claims were found patentable.
1st Technology's CEO Dr. Scott Lewis told the online gambling information site Gambling911 that the latest development was important, saying: "We are very pleased that our core ‘001 Patent has not only passed the re-exam process but that additional claims have been found patentable, making the ‘001 Patent stronger and more secure than ever."
Lewis added, "We welcomed the re-exam petition as an opportunity to demonstrate once and for all the novelty and innovation of the ‘001 Patent. This confirmation permits us to again address the ongoing infringement of our intellectual property and reinvigorates our enforcement efforts."
1st Technology's latest target is the publicly-listed gaming group Leisure & Gaming plc, against which Lewis recently received a U.S. Federal Court default judgment of over $5 million and a court injunction for any future infringement of the ‘001 Patent.
The Palo Alto-based law firm of Sawyer Law Group was the primary legal representation for the ‘001 Patent re-examination process on the behalf of 1st Technology, Lewis revealed. Chicago-based Flachsbart & Greenspoon represents 1st Technology in licensing and litigation.
"This all is good news for the many current 1st Tech licensees in the industry who acted sensibly in negotiating licenses with us early on, and bad news for the dozens of hold-outs who received and ignored our infringement notices over the past ten years: since the stepped up licensing enforcement will be accompanied by higher licensing fees reflecting the true value and cost of the infringement," says Lewis.
"Also those new players [companies] in the Internet gaming industry which have been infringing on our patent and hoping that it would be invalidated, can now expect to be receiving infringement letters from us shortly," Lewis added.
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