US Patent and Trademark Office sides with Acres in IGT patent infringement case

November 16, 2023 1:54 PM
Photo: CDC Gaming Reports
  • Sam Bentham, Special to CDC Gaming Reports
November 16, 2023 1:54 PM
  • Sam Bentham, Special to CDC Gaming Reports
  • United States

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has ruled in favor of casino developer Acres in its patent dispute with slot software developer IGT.

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IGT (NYSE: IGT) is a leading gambling industry technology software developer responsible for some of the most popular slot titles at land-based and online casinos worldwide.

Acres is the brainchild of John Acres, a member of the American Gaming Association’s Hall of Fame since 2016. Previously, Acres had founded Acres Gaming, which was purchased by IGT in 2003, Mikohn Gaming, and Electronic Display Technology.

Acres 4.0’s marquee product, Foundation, provides casino management systems that have developed cashless casino systems to increase efficiencies at land-based sites. In October, the company announced an update to the Foundation system, Foundation HQ.

The case centered on IGT’s claim that the Acres Foundation casino management system product violated four of 200 patents held by the company and claimed that Acres owed IGT loyalties for the Foundation product – increasing the cost of the product to casinos.

In response to the claims, Acres submitted evidence to the USPTO and requested a reexamination of the four patents. Upon completing these reexaminations, USPTO officials rejected IGT’s claims against Acres.

John Acres, CEO of Acres, welcomed the decision, saying, “Foundation provides operators with a wide range of new, unprecedented capabilities. Presuming the findings from the USPTO stand – which I believe is highly probable – all claims of infringement against Foundation will be dismissed, and Foundation pricing will not increase, delivering a win for Acres and for our casino customers. In my opinion, these patents should never have been asserted against us.”

Last year Acres announced a partnership with Maverick Gaming, owner-and-operator of 27 land-based facilities across three states, including the Grand Z Casino in Central City, Colorado. Acres will provide its casino management system and cashless casino app across all Maverick Gaming sites. Resisting an increase in the cost of these systems was described by Acres “as a win for Acres and for our casino customers.”