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PokerStars Takes Over in Rush Poker Patent Case

PokerStars will take over from Full Tilt subsidiary Pocket King in its patent pursuit for Rush Poker, according to reports from eGaming Review.

The Isle of Man-based company is seeking to postpone oral proceedings ahead of a decision from the European Patent Office.

Matthew Dixon, an attorney at Harrison Goddard Foote, highlighted the “exceptional circumstances” that may require a postponement. Dixon, who is representing PokerStars, said: “My client only became involved in this application seven weeks ago, having been transferred the application by court order from a non-trading company.

“Since then my client has been seeking suitable representation, as well as dealing with the ramifications of the transfer of assets. I was appointed as representative on [September 14].”

Many have challenged the patent’s claim. In the autumn of 2011, InstaDeal founder Per Hildebrand told eGaming Review that Rush Poker was “never patentable” before launching his own Rush-style game just before the New Year.

Hildebrand doesn’t think much of PokerStars’ defense. “[The] funny part is that their lawyers once must have concluded that the product is not patentable as they launched Zoom and now want to argue that it is,” he said.

Other networks and operators have also launched Rush variants, including Party Poker (Fast Forward), iPoker (Speed Poker) and, of course, PokerStars (Zoom).

The ongoing Rush Poker case represents one of the first major patent defenses in online poker. The market has avoided the fierce patent wars between IGT and others that have characterized the gaming equipment industry, for example.


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