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Game and Technology Co. v. Activision Blizzard – a look at how inter partes reviews change the game in patent suits

Scott M. Kelly and Alex Nealon

Keywords: patents; intellectual property; video games; inter partes reviews; PTAB

A June 2019 appellate decision marked the end of the patent assertion by Game and Technology Co. (GAT) against Activision Blizzard and Riot Games. 1 The patents at issue related to equipping virtual avatars with game items. Activision Blizzard was able to successfully invalidate the patent through inter partes review (IPR) proceedings at the US Patent and Trademark Office. This case illustrates the important role that IPRs play in US patent litigation, as well as the double-edged sword of obtaining very broad patent claims. The article walks through the history of the assertion, the invalidity arguments at the USPTO, and the final decision on appeal to the Federal Circuit, and discusses how IPRs may provide an effective response to patent assertions in the US.

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