Sega suing Level 5 over patent infringement

New information coming up (from the actual patent details on the first patent I posted):

I think this is definitely one of the two patents in question - it's for a touch soccer arcade game specifically. The patent in question ONLY covers soccer games (Edit - however in the ammendments, Sega has suggested that they can use it for any games requiring control over a single character and groups of characters simultaneously), so even though it can be perceived as vague, it's not as vague as just moving a character via touch.

I've got a little bit more coming in a moment once I get done trying to work through the translation of the actual details of the patent. I'm a bit rusty and I don't have google translate to rely on (its actual jpg images of the patent itself that I'm looking at in details), so if someone is a bit more comfortable with Japanese, I'll be happy to post them as well. Otherwise, it'll wait until I'm done glancing for the highlights.

Anyone else can find the patent though with the patent number I posted originally.

And I did find the origin date. The patent's original filing was back in 2004.
 
New information coming up (from the actual patent details on the first patent I posted):

I think this is definitely one of the two patents in question - it's for a touch soccer arcade game specifically. The patent in question ONLY covers soccer games (Edit - however in the ammendments, Sega has suggested that they can use it for any games requiring control over a single character and groups of characters simultaneously), so even though it can be perceived as vague, it's not as vague as just moving a character via touch.

I've got a little bit more coming in a moment once I get done trying to work through the translation of the actual details of the patent. I'm a bit rusty and I don't have google translate to rely on (its actual jpg images of the patent itself that I'm looking at in details), so if someone is a bit more comfortable with Japanese, I'll be happy to post them as well. Otherwise, it'll wait until I'm done glancing for the highlights.

Anyone else can find the patent though with the patent number I posted originally.

And I did find the origin date. The patent's original filing was back in 2004.
ahhh ok, this makes more sense. Seems like they might have something.
 
Okay. Struggled through it. Though I'm not going to translate the full patent, here's the basic gist of it:

Sega (in the patent) was granted a patent on the idea of using a combination of swipes and drag/hold techniques to control multiple characters at once, while also maintaining primary control over one single character (in the case of the patent, a player with the ball, but they suggest it can be other things as well). The examples provided include moving linemen into formation using quick swipes while using a long drag to move the character with the ball up field. (So basically, a long drag will move the guy with the ball, while a quick swipe will move linemen, and a quick swipe on top of the ball to another character will pass the ball, etc. - there are multiple techniques mentioned here (including grouping multiple characters together to move at once) but they generally revolve around the same fundamental ideas).

There's a little bit more detail to it, but this basically the fundamental argument of what Sega has patented here.

Anyone know if that sounds like Inazuma?
 
If this were the US, I'd say they probably could. Europe, maybe not. Japan... I really have no idea how software patent disputes tend to go there, I'm not too optimistic for Level 5 to be honest short of a settlement that renders this whole thing a non-issue.
They did win their suit against Namco for having light up button prompts in Tekken 2's training mode. (A feature Sega barely uses in their own fighters bafflingly enough.)
 
They did win their suit against Namco for having light up button prompts in Tekken 2's training mode. (A feature Sega barely uses in their own fighters bafflingly enough.)
Given how often Namco uses mini games during loading screens I actually find this to be appropriate.

I kind of expect they'll settle, still seems like a dumb patent though.

EDIT: Though come to think of it, we only have Tekken 1 but not Tekken 2 on the PSN, right? That's lame, but I guess at this point most would rather get a newer installment anyway.
 
Level 5 is REALLY bad at securing their idea by patents.
While other software companies have hundreds or even thousands of software patents, IIRC Level 5 has very few of them, or even none.

I don't know whether that is good or bad, though.
It seems like they focus on making games rather then patent trolling...honestly sega today could learn alot from Level 5.

I remember when Sega was a great company :/ If this was in Europe Sega would have just hit their final nail in their own coffin.
 
No matter the arguments I hear for this stuff I don't understand software patents at all. We all stand on the shoulders of giants and if you don't skin the giant and take over his entire life (explicit theft of the whole game) then I don't see the problem.
 
Uh, what? Basically, I hope their out-of-court settlement doesn't delay the series.

Or maybe I do? They put them out way too quickly and, annoyingly, late in December. Sure, delay them, Sega!
 
It's not like Sega's just started doing this, they've been doing it. So have Namco, Capcom, and others. It got really bad during the PS2 era, with games on all sides repeatedly having features pulled before they made it to America to comply with patents. (Although in this case it's a Japanese patent.)

It seems like they focus on making games rather then patent trolling...honestly sega today could learn alot from Level 5.
Like how to accept money intended for a platform exclusive, and instead use it to develop games for a competing platform.

Not even Layton patches the hole TFLO left.
 

Htown

STOP SHITTING ON MY MOTHER'S HEADSTONE
So... the patent in the OP wasn't filed until last year right?

How can Sega sue Level 5 for infringing a patent that hadn't been filed yet?
 
Anyone familiar with Inazuma able to say whether or not this sounds like something in the game? Still digging for any others that I can find... But this one specifically referenced a soccer touch screen game...


(21)Application number : 2011-131223 (71)Applicant : SEGA CORP
(22)Date of filing : 13.06.2011 (72)Inventor : TSUTSUMI ATSUSHI
ITO MITSUHIRO

(54) IMAGE PROCESSOR AND METHOD THEREOF
(57)Abstract:
PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED: To smoothly control the movement of a character by a simple operation.
SOLUTION: When carrying out one-two pass from one character 50 to the other character 52, single or double operation is carried out to the other character 52 on a touch panel 22. When the character 50 is drug-operated and moved thereafter, a ball is automatically passed back from the ally character 52 to the character 50 after the ball is moved to the ally character 52.


Edit - Image included with the patent:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vOuOJ_x4H0
 

RurouniZel

Asks questions so Ezalc doesn't have to
Lame Sega. Just lame. We get it, you're desperate for money these days. Those pachinko machines aren't bringing in the money. I see that. But this is just desperate and lame.
 
Sega (in the patent) was granted a patent on the idea of using a combination of swipes and drag/hold techniques to control multiple characters at once, while also maintaining primary control over one single character (in the case of the patent, a player with the ball, but they suggest it can be other things as well). The examples provided include moving linemen into formation using quick swipes while using a long drag to move the character with the ball up field. (So basically, a long drag will move the guy with the ball, while a quick swipe will move linemen, and a quick swipe on top of the ball to another character will pass the ball, etc. - there are multiple techniques mentioned here (including grouping multiple characters together to move at once) but they generally revolve around the same fundamental ideas).

There's a little bit more detail to it, but this basically the fundamental argument of what Sega has patented here.

Anyone know if that sounds like Inazuma?
You want to know what the funny thing is? This sounds technically more advanced than what IE has. IE doesn't have the function of grouping multiple players and moving them at once.
 
If they were truly concerned about protecting their patent, why wait until the fifth game before suing? It's not like it's some niche game that just came to their attention; IE2 was already bigger than pretty much any SEGA title