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Article posted Jul 29 2011, 11:31 PM Category: Science/Technology Source: Pocket Gamer Print

Patently ridiculous: 5 video game patents you didn't know existed

by Mark Brown

Patents are tricky things. On one hand they're a smart move, letting bold new innovators take cash and credit for their groundbreaking ideas. They stamp out direct clones and stop your competitors from swiping your smartest inventions.

But they can also stifle and strangle creativity, putting a legal chokehold on the coolest concepts, mechanics, and ideas. In this article, you'll see both hardware design and gameplay ideas - including modes, features, and scoring systems - locked down by patents.

Imagine how differently the games industry would be if id Software had patented the first-person shooter, or if Mario-maker Shigeru Miyamoto had patented jumping (something he considered during the NES days).

As Lodsys continues its legal barrage against iPhone developers that use in-app purchases (including simulation game Pocket God), we've collected five different gaming patents that you probably didn't know existed, and explain how they've changed the way games, controllers, and handhelds are designed.

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