A patent is a right given to an inventor of a mechanism giving them the exclusive rights to use, sale, and recreate their mechanism. Patents must be a physical working mechanism and cannot be an idea or expression.
This website contains the patent Wizard holds on Magic the Gathering: Trading Card Game Method of Play. This patent was granted in 1999. Since then numerous other trading card games have been developed.
Since the filing of this patent Trading Card Games have developed and evolved by taking elements of the best and most popular. Magic is one of the oldest and still one of the most popular trading card game on the market. As such elements of Magic has seeped into other card games. The image below shows Wizard's card configuration they included in their patent. Below that is four major trading card games. A question I would like to pose which elements of these games are infringing on Wizard's patent?
An image of the card layout from the Magic the Gathering patent.
A comparison of major trading card games on the market.
I feel this at once is Wizard's strongest area of the suite, but also its weakest. The mechanic’s of Hex and its card’s design are very close to Magics, but as the image shows above other trading card games have a similar card design and play mechanics to that of Magic the Gathering. Can or should Wizards sue these companies also? Or is it as I mentioned earlier and the the success and longevity of Magic has made the elements of Magic a necessity to have a successful card game?
With each IP Area defined and the claims explained, click the button below for my conclusion on the Wizards vs. Cryptozoic case.