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PATENTS - Criteria for patent protection - Utility

Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 9:20 AM  

Lexis Advance® Quicklaw®
Action by the plaintiff for damages for patent infringement. The plaintiff alleged that the defendants infringed a patent for a “safe gaming system”, the purpose of which was to monitor gaming activities to mitigate problem gambling. An expert computer system with knowledge of individual users, based on their responses in an assessment, monitored changes in their gambling behaviour, regulated what their personal limits should be and terminated gambling when they were met. The plaintiff argued that the basic utility was the monitoring, regulating and terminating gaming of an individual. The defendants argued that the patent was invalid.

HELD: Action dismissed. The patent was invalid for lacking utility and for providing insufficient disclosure. The basic utility argued by the plaintiff was not useful because it was not related to the nature of the subject matter. The subject matter was to monitor, regulate and terminate play of problem gambling, not merely the play of all individuals. The nature of the subject matter was an individual who was a problem gambler. The invention as claimed would not be able to mitigate problem gambling. The essential elements had limitless boundaries that made the disclosure insufficient. The terms “profile attribute”, “social factors”, “psychological factors”, “speed of play”, “quality of decisions”, “specific gaming control parameters”, “monitoring changes in gambling behavior” and “monitoring quality of decisions” were not defined.

Safe Gaming System v. Atlantic Lottery Corp., [2018] F.C.J. No. 567, Federal Court, G.L. McVeigh J., May 25, 2018. Digest No. TLD-July162018002