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Best of Howard Stutz

Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz

IGT Sues Rival Slot Builder

2 May 2006

RENO and LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- For the fourth time since 2004, slot machine giant International Game Technology has sued rival equipment maker Bally Technologies accusing patent infringement.

In a lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court, Reno-based IGT said Las Vegas-based Bally Technologies' "Bally Power Bonusing," a gaming system product, infringed upon nine American patents held by IGT.

In a statement, IGT said the products have been installed on casino games on the East Coast and Nevada and the lawsuit, filed in Delaware, asks the court to call for the games' removal.

IGT claims Bally Technologies placed the products in casinos despite being told by IGT the system infringed on its patents.

"We believe that's the case and we can prove that in court," IGT spokesman Ed Rogich said.

According the Bally Technologies Web site, Bally Power Bonusing gives casinos a package of bonusing, gaming and promotions products. The products allow a casino to pick from a range of "predefined bonus events, sweepstakes and promotional programs."

In a statement, IGT Chairman and Chief Executive Officer TJ Matthews said his company has developed and patented similar products.

"The patents at issue in this lawsuit cover innovations that Bally has chosen to exploit for its own benefit without seeking a license or any other authorization from IGT," Matthews said.

A Bally Technologies spokesman declined comment.

IGT has two pending lawsuits accusing Bally of patent infringement.

In 2004, IGT sued Bally for infringing on six patents, including those involving IGT's bonus wheel gaming machines. IGT has also accused Bally of infringing on patents relating to optical systems for monitoring table games.

Both cases are pending in Nevada.

IGT Sues Rival Slot Builder is republished from