June 15, 2006

Last week, Nintendo Co., Ltd, obtained a patent on the connection of two video game systems through a web server computer to allow users of the two video game systems to communicate with one another. This patent, issuing on June 6th, is entitled “Messaging service for video game systems with buddy list that displays game being played,” and includes 22 claims on messaging services, messaging server clients, server processes, and a game network server. The first claim of the patent discloses a messaging system comprising a server and a video game system for executing a video game on a storage device. The storage device, while executing the game, activates the messaging service client which establishes a connection with the server via the internet. The connection then sends and received status data, which can be “indicative of video game programs being executed by “video game systems of each of one or more buddies identified on a buddy list previously defined by the user.” The claim includes additional details on the identification of buddies on a buddy list, even if the buddies are playing different games. According to ars technica, even though “the patent itself refers to the Nintendo64 and Game Boy Color by name, some have speculated that this patent could portend an instant messaging system for the Wii.”

U.S. Patent No. 7,056,217: LINK
ars technica News Article: LINK
Nintendo Wii Website: 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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