Not only can patents be issued for life-saving medical equipment – and hopefully diagnostic methods – but also board games, like Monopoly. It is possible for anyone to develop these patents, regardless of gender. It is not always the case, however, that your patented game will allow you to earn 15% more if you are female. A little credit on the box can sometimes be the best you can hope for. That is, for the time being.
Women’s Contribution to Monopoly’s New Version
The classic board game Monopoly is getting a new version from Hasbro. In this version, called Ms. Monopoly, female inventors and entrepreneurs are paid a percentage more than males. Monopoly’s predecessor, The Landlord’s Game, was patented in 1904 by Elizabeth (Lizzie) Magie, who was conspicuously absent from the game. As the one who sold Monopoly to Hasbro, Charles Darrow has long been credited with creating the game. Magie is credited as a pioneer in the field of politically-themed games in the new Ms. Monopoly box.
In fact, IPVision does not have that patent in its database for mapping when making its patent maps – it goes back to 1904. Five U.S. patents did cite Magie’s U.S. patent 748,626 as prior art, and their abstracts contained the following noun phrases:
The patent landscape map for these 5 patents indicates that 17 of the patents they cite aren’t in our database due to their age.
As a result of the passage of time, the patents whose left edge is to the left of these lines have expired.
We can observe how the landscape evolves by looking forward to the patents that cite the patents that cite the five patents citing the Monopoly patent:
From the original Monopoly patent, this is a 2 level forward map.
Yellow shading is used for the five patents, while green shading is used for the 22 patents that cite them. In this map, most of the red-topped patent boxes are still owned by the inventors. Discovery by a toy company does not seem to be easy.
Patent Trolls on the Rise
The Rothschild Patent Imaging (RPI) is a non-practicing entity (NPE). Their company doesn’t produce products or provide services, so what do they do? Patent trolls like RPI make their entire revenue from patent lawsuits; with 141 defendants sued, they’re the definition of patent trolls. The company, GNOME, was recently accused of infringing RPI’s wireless image distribution patent. Originally, the patent search india was filed based on a deliberately vague premise in order to trick those thinking they are simply using the technology available to all. Now that GNOME has been trapped by the troll, they’re awaiting trial to see if a jury rules that they were only using technology obvious to everyone or if the patent will stand in their way.