from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent
Trial and Appeal Board in No. IPR2016-01885.
Richard Arthur Castellano, DNL ZITO, Washington, DC, argued
for appellant. Also represented by Joseph J. Zito.
A. Israel, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, LLP, Houston, TX, argued
for appellees. Also represented by Tanya L. Chaney, David
Morehan; John D. Garretson, Kansas City, MO.
Prost, Chief Judge, Lourie and Wallach, Circuit Judges.
Wallach, Circuit Judge.
Activision Blizzard Inc. and Riot Games, Inc. (collectively,
"Activision") sought inter partes review
("IPR") of claims 1-11 ("the Challenged
Claims") of Appellant Game and Technology Co.'s
("GAT") U.S. Patent No. 8, 253, 743 ("the
'743 patent"). The U.S. Patent and Trademark
Office's ("USPTO") Patent Trial and Appeal
Board ("PTAB") issued a final written decision
determining, inter alia, that the Challenged Claims were
"obvious based on the combined teachings" of the
prior art references. Activision Blizzard, Inc. v. Game
& Tech. Co., No. IPR2016-01885, 2018 WL 1358661, at
*28 (P.T.A.B. Mar. 14, 2018).
appeals. We have jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1295(a)(4)(A) (2012). We affirm.
"Method and System for Providing Character Having Game
Item Functions," the '743 patent relates to the
field of customizing Internet game characters in online games
by combining game items with layers of an avatar in the game.
'743 patent col. 1 ll. 19-21. Specifically, the '743
patent discloses a method and system for providing "game
item[s]" to Internet game characters and generating a
type of avatar the patent refers to as a "gamvatar"
that is equipped with particular game items. Id.
col. 1 ll. 20-23 (explaining that the patent discloses
"a method and system for servicing characters and having
game item functions of a specific game in the case of
characters provided by an online [website]"). A
"gamvatar" is described by the patent as both
"an avatar for exclusive use in a game,"
id. col. 3 ll. 10-11, and "an avatar that is
capable of performing game item functions," id.
col. 5 ll. 39-40. A "game item" can include "a
game tool, such as a money recovery item," id.
col. 2 ll. 45-47, where "the user generally uses the
game item in a game after buying it at the game item shop 270
to receive merits according to the specific characteristics
of the item," id. col. 2 ll. 50-52. According
to the specification, "[t]he game item function of the
gamvatar includes the function of charging and restoring
cyber money, a function of reinforcing power of the gamvatar,
and a function of attacking or defending other gamers."
Id. col. 6 ll. 18-21. The '743 patent also
describes "combining" items with layers of an
avatar, id., Abstract, and describes the layers of
an avatar in the context of "conventional avatar service
system[s]," where the user customizes the avatar's
appearance using purchased avatar items, id. col. 2
ll. 33-37. After "access[ing] the [website] . . .
through the user computer[, ] . . . [the user] acquires or
buys an avatar from the avatar shop or the avatar server . .
. and accesses the game server . . . to play a game."
Id. col. 2 ll. 38-41.
claim 1 is representative and recites:
A method for generating a character associated with a
character generating system comprising a gamvatar provider, a
gamvatar controller, and a game server, the method
providing an avatar to a user accessing an avatar shop via a
network, the avatar comprising multiple layers for
displaying avatar functions or performing game item functions
by using the respective layers; and combining each
of a plurality of game item functions with the avatar by
adding the respective layers to the avatar to create
a gamvatar associated with the plurality of the game
wherein the gamvatar is configured to be used to
perform the plurality of the game item functions and each of
the plurality of game item functions being combined with the
respective layers is exhausted in response to
detection of each time of using the each of the plurality of
game item functions associated with playing a game provided
by the game server.
Id. col. 11 l. 60-col. 12 l. 11 (emphases added).