The Rational Group, parent company for Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker, appears to be experiencing problems in registering patents for FTP’s pioneering fast-fold poker product Rush Poker, judging by recent posts on the twoplustwo poker forum.
Apparently FTP did not fully secure exclusive rights to the concept when it was conceived some years ago, and the fight has now passed to Rational after its acquisition of Full Tilt in 2011.
Although FTP pioneered the fast-fold poker genre in the modern industry, its popularity quickly persuaded a slew of rival companies to launch their own versions, and achieving a patent – especially in the US – could have far-reaching effects.
However, successfully claiming a patent has proved more difficult than was first thought, as one poster on twoplustwo pointed out:
“In an Office Action dated August 31, 2012, the patent examiner in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected all 46 of the pending claims. Given that this is the first Office Action on the merits, this is customary,” the poster advised, quoting reference numbers “13/006,620” and directing players to an application at http://www.google.com/patents/US20110177863.
In the latest update, poster “STinLA” refers to prior art on the patent application at:
http://www.google.com/patents/US20070155460-prior art patent and comments:
“The patent examiner entered a Final Rejection on October 1, 2013. The examiner basically said that he did not buy any of the arguments raised to distinguish the Burnside reference. In other words, someone else beat Full Tilt to the punch by just over 4 years, filing their application in December 2005 for what appears to be the same invention.”
However, “STinLA” points out, all is not yet lost for the Rational Group. It can file a Request for Continued Examination to carry on the fight with the patent examiner, or file an appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board in the USPTO.
The prior art claimed in the Burnside reference itself is facing an uphill battle, the poster notes. The applicants received a Final Rejection back in 2009 and filed a Request for Continued Examination. As yet, they still have not received a patent.