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Re: patents on Frets on Fire, Pydance, StepMania and such games




"Don Armstrong" <don@debian.org> wrote in message 20080118134500.GD13670@volo.donarmstrong.com">news:20080118134500.GD13670@volo.donarmstrong.com...
On Fri, 18 Jan 2008, John Halton wrote:
1. A game system comprising:

an input apparatus which is manipulated by a player;

performance data memory device which stores performance data
stipulating a series of manipulations of said input apparatus arranged
in correspondence with a predetermined musical piece;

Interesting that they've managed to patent sheet music stored in a
computer.

That is not sheet music, but more of a raw storage of notes, timings, and durations (not too unlike a midi file).
Further that is not an independent claim,
the patent *only* protects a *game system* that contains *all* these components.

manipulation guide device which specifies the series of manipulations
of said input apparatus arranged in correspondence with said musical
piece to the player based on said performance data;

That does cover any sheet-music or sheetmusic-like interface that displays the notes
stored above.

said performance data comprising information which specifies timings
of manipulations relating to at least one timing manipulation member
provided on said input apparatus, and information which specifies at
least one selection manipulation member to be manipulated in
correspondence with the manipulation of said timing manipulation
member from a plurality of selection manipulation members provided on
said input apparatus;

But the key here is that this specifies that the interface must have two different types of controls. One that must be pressed with the correct timing (the strum bar on a Guitar Hero controler) as well as selection buttons that need not be pushed with exact timing, but need only be pushed in the right combination when the timing control is pushed. Thus this patent very much is specific to Guitar-hero like games, and does not cover generic "dance"
games, which have only timing buttons, and no selection buttons.

Futher it is unclear to me that a distributer would be infringing the patentent anyway, as they would be providing
only a portion of the game system claimed, but not the input device.

(Now if the person was distributing a cd containing frets-on-fire along with a Guitar-hero style controler, that would be covered by this claim)


And then continue to even more precisely define digital sheet music.

Oh well; it's not like patent examiners are actually capable of
understanding the patents which they are examining.


Don Armstrong

--
A Democracy lead by politicians and political parties, fails.

http://www.donarmstrong.com              http://rzlab.ucr.edu





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