Scientific Games Corp. lost in its final appeal in Macau to secure a patent for its electronic table game technology.
Macau’s Court of Final Appeal has rejected an appeal of a patent application originally filed by Scientific Games legacy company SHFL Entertainment in 2014. Scientific Games inherited the intellectual property of SHFL Entertainment Asia when Scientific Games took over Bally Technologies that year.
SG Gaming’s patent request involves technology for an ETG with a dealer station and a number of terminals for multiple players. The request had been turned down by the city’s Economic and Technological Development Bureau, on the basis that the invention lacked “an inventive step,” a decision that was upheld in 2019 by Macau’s Court of First Instance in April 2019, and subsequently by the city’s Court of Second Instance, in October that same year.
In its judgment, the Court of Final Appeal stated, among other decisions, that the computer network for reciprocal data communication between terminals, video cameras, screen-visualization technology and conversion technology data “existed long before the patent application was filed” by the former SHFL Entertainment.
The new system “had just combined, in a way that didn’t exist yet, several data technologies that already existed, into a new thing; thus, the invention did not include an inventive step,” said the judgment.
According to a report in GGR Asia, the patent application had also been challenged by executives of Macau ETG supplier LT Game Ltd, including Jay Chun, chairman of LT Game’s parent, Hong Kong-listed Paradise Entertainment Ltd.
Paradise and LT Game have long been involved in litigation over LT Games’ exclusive patent on ETGs in Macau.