March 10, 2006

Microsoft Inc. recently obtained U.S. Patent No. 6,999,083 (“System and method to provide a spectator experience for networked gaming”), describing a system “that generates a spectator experience corresponding to an occurrence of an associated game or event.” Specifically, this milestone 5,000th U.S. patent to Microsoft claims a “spectator engine that aggregates selected game data with other data to provide spectator data,” involving both participants and non-participants, and “a distribution system operative to provide a signal based on the spectator data that is transformable into a representation of the spectator experience.” In the patent, Microsoft states that there is currently “a variety of passive and interactive forms of amusement,” including video games targeting specific age groups, and that video games have become the subject of television shows and movies, but that “[t]ypically, one can either be a participant of the video game or a passive viewer of a television program or movie.” This invention provides for a “spectator experience” generated in real time, allowing not only for the current gaming actions to be experienced, but also “highlights, instant replays, or other enhancements for the resulting spectator experience.” Microsoft has stated that this technology will be incorporated into its Xbox 360™ games, claiming that this innovation would allow a user to “tune into a video game much as they would a sporting event broadcast.” According to the company, it has over 7,000 patents in its portfolio, with a current goal of filing 3,000 patent applications per year.

U.S. Patent No. 6,999,083: LINK
Microsoft Press Release: LINK

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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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