Loren Greenwood, CEO of Wizards of the Coast, responded to questions posed by ICv2 concerning the patent award announced by WotC yesterday.
In the announcement Wizards of the Coast indicated that it had been awarded a patent for a 'constructible strategy game,' yet that phrase was never used in the patent application -- does WotC feel it has the right to use the 'CSG' phrase now to describe its new Transformers game?
The industry as a whole uses the generic term constructible strategy game to describe these types of games. That context is helpful when talking specifically about our new Transformers 3-D Battle-Card Game because it helps people understand the gameplay. However, we are calling our game a '3-D Battle Card Game' because we like the image that conveys to consumers.
WotC was careful not to use the term 'CSG' in describing what was called the 'Transformers 3-D Battle Card Game,' but which did resemble already established games in the CSG category -- why didn't you use the 'CSG' designation previously?
We decided to label our Transformers game a 3-D Battle Card Game because our marketing team feels that it best fits this particular product.
Do you feel that the awarding of the patent gives you the right to use the 'CSG' designation?
It is not up to us how the public and industry refers to our games. We feel that the 3-D Battle Card Game label best suits our Transformers game, so we are using that.
Do you feel that the CSG category of games will grow and prosper?
While it's impossible to predict something like that, we certainly hope to see growth in this category and are excited about the opportunities it provides.
When did WotC learn that it had been awarded a patent based on its 2003 application?
We actually filed a provisional patent in October 2002, which is noted on the face of our patent. The patent was awarded on April 10, 2007. We had anticipated since late 2006 that a patent would likely issue eventually, based on communications from the patent office. In March, we received a notice informing us that the patent was projected to issue on April 10th.