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Azure Wins Patent Case

20 March 2002

TOKYO -- Sammy Corp., Japan's second-biggest maker of pachinko pinball machines, said it was ordered by the Tokyo District Court to pay 7.4 billion yen ($56.2 million) to bigger rival Aruze Corp.

Aruze is casino developer Steve Wynn's partner in a megaresort they plan at the Desert Inn site on the Las Vegas Strip. The court ruled that Sammy violated Aruze's patent on slot machines that are installed at pachinko parlors throughout Japan, Sammy said, adding it will appeal the ruling.

Officials at Aruze, Japan's biggest pachinko maker, weren't immediately available for comment.

Pachinko -- a form of gambling -- is a popular pastime among Japanese. Japan's pachinko and slot-machine industry generates 28 trillion yen in annual revenue, or close to 6 percent of gross domestic product.

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