|From:||Erik Jameson <erikj@****.COM>|
|Subject:||Re: WotC's CCG patent and FASA (Was - Re: Tinner's Pompous|
|Date:||Tue, 17 Mar 1998 12:27:00 -0500|
>>> So have FASA, and all the other companies printing CCGs licensed the idea
>>> from WotC?
>>FASA has not licensed Garfield's patent. (I suspect they cut a deal
>>somehow, as WotC maintains the Battletech CCG for them. No use screwing
>>a guy over if he can screw you back, right?)
>>To my knowledge, only two or three independent (non-WotC-related)
>>companies have licensed the patent; none of them come close to being top
>Just to clarify this issue.
>WotC has NOT patented the CCG.
>What they patented was the unique elements Garfield designed for MtG.
>These include "Tapping" (turning) cards to indicate their use, and the
>unique resources management elements of "Play one resource(land) per turn.
>These things are legally, the intellectual property of WotC, and they have
>every right to protect them and profit from their use - Look at a LOT of the
>first wave of copycat CCG's - Over the Edge being a prime example - all they
>did was change the wording around, and essentially stole MtG's rules system.
>FASA has not purchased a lisence from WotC for the SRTCG, because AFAIK they
>are NOT using any of these unique elements.
Actually, I would contend that the SRTCG does include some elements of
M:tG, such as card turning and the mana/nuyen point system. Apparently,
Wizards of the Coast agrees with that assessment.
WotC asked/demanded? that the CCG companies sign licensing agreements with
them by the end of 1997. Here's the scorecard:
Of the leading CCG manufacturers, only one, Harper/Prism which makes the
Aliens/Predator and the Imajica CCGs, has signed on. WotC either designed
or owns the publisher for Battletech, Dune and L5R.
Middle Earth (ICE), Overpower (Fleer/Skybox), Star Wars (Decipher), Star
Trek:TNG (Decipher), Warlords (ICE) and Shadowrun (FASA) have all declined
to sign licensing agreements with Wizards of the Coast. This could be for
any number of reasons, most likely being that these companies believe that
they have solid legal footing.
I am unaware of any potential consequences or any further legal challenge
from WotC. Maybe one of our FASA moles could find out if there is anything
else going on?