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Bally wins patent suit against IGT, Shuffle Master

Company acted appropriately with intellectual property, MP21 system, District Court rules

A Nevada District Court recently granted summary judgment motions in favor of Las Vegas-based Bally Technologies in its patent suit against Reno-based International Game Technology and Las Vegas-based Shuffle Master. Bally had been accused of infringing on two IGT/Shuffle Master-owned patents with regard to development of Bally’s MP21 table game system.

The court ruled that one of the patents - the “Schubert” patent (U.S. Patent No. 6,313,871) - was invalid under the “obviousness” doctrine recently addressed by the Supreme Court in KSR International Co. v. Teleflex Inc. Bally would be entitled to partial summary judgment of non-infringement, the court said. Bally’s MP21 system does not infringe on the other patent, known as the “Fishbine” patent (U.S. Patent No. 5,781,647).

A press release issued by Bally after the decision noted that the court also questioned the validity of the Fishbine patent, but declined to issue any specific ruling on that matter. Bally was granted a motion for summary judgment dismissing IGT and Shuffle Master’s claim that an inventor of the Schubert patent should have been named as an inventor of several Bally patents.

“This is a vindication of Bally’s position in this case,” said Richard M. Haddrill, president and chief executive officer of Bally Technologies. “The District Court’s ruling supports our view that our product decisions are based on sound intellectual property filings and evaluations and made with care.”


2008 Event will focus on "The Path to Open"

The dates for International Game Technology’s third annual Network Systems Users Conference have been set: June 9-11 at The Mirage in Las Vegas. IGT said the focus of this year’s event will be on “The Path to Open,” or preparing its customers to be able to effectively transition to a networked casino floor for the future.

Conference sessions will address the importance of network infrastructure, details on technologies driving the change, the importance of games readiness, and a business comparison of today’s networks with tomorrow’s casino floor. Users conference sessions have been arranged in 10 tracks geared toward new and advanced users, seven of which focus on optimizing existing IGT Advantage, EZ Pay, Table iD and IGT Mariposa products.

The remaining optional tracks focus on future technology, so attendees may pick and choose the level of detail they would like to hear: sb Impact on Operations, Transition to Open and the new executive-level focused track, An Executive Look. The conference will also feature an Interactive Area with live demonstrations of all current IGT Advantage and IGT Mariposa products, as well as future sb and EZ Pay Smart Card technology. The Executive Roundtable has returned, providing attendees the opportunity to engage directly with the Network Systems executives responsible for their satisfaction.

Guy Kawasaki, who was one of the technology brain trusts behind the success of Apple Computer Inc. and the MacIntosh, will deliver the event’s keynote address: “The Art of Innovation and Your Competitive Edge.” Kawasaki, widely-recognized as the world’s first “tech-evangelist,” is managing director of Garage Technology Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm, and is ranked as one of the top 100 bloggers in the world.

To register for the IGT Network Systems Users Conference, e-mailUsersConference@IGT.comwith questions.

TableMAX, eBet reach WAP partnership

Agreement allows development of wide-area progressives on all TableMAX products

Las Vegas-based TableMAX Holdings LLC has partnered with eBet Limited, an Australian gaming systems company, to enable the development of wide-area progressives on TableMAX games.

Under terms of the deal, eBet, which develops and markets software and systems to facilitate the management of slot machine networks, will monitor and operate wide area progressives on all TableMAX game content. The partnership is a three-year agreement encompassing North America. The new eBet-driven WAP is expected to go live in April 2008 in Oklahoma.

“This partnership utilizes the skills and experience of both companies to our mutual benefit,” said eBet CEO and Managing Director Tony Toohey. “I am confident that this will culminate in substantial business for TableMAX and eBet across the United States. We are very excited about working together to realize the full potential of this innovative product.”

TableMAX has exclusive rights to operate and manage wide area progressives on the types of electronic table games it produces. With eBet, the company can now implement and operate the TableMAX WAP on the Casino Link system. Currently, a TableMAX game’s progressive is tied to one five-station game. Now, the progressive can be casino-wide, multi-property, multi-city within a state and even multi-state.

“We have a unique product that is already in high demand across the continent. Now, we have a partnership that will expand our exciting progressive beyond a standalone game situation to a full wide area progressive,” said TableMAX CEO Stephen Crystal. “This is a major step forward in our business plan.”