Patents Examined by James Schaaf
  • Patent number: 6113495
    Abstract: An electronic gaming system is disclosed that allows a player of an electronic gaming device, such as a slot machine or an arcade video game, to access premium entertainment services, such as premium web sites, pay-per-view services and shared-revenue telephone services, such as 900 or 976 services, for enhanced player retention. When play is initiated, a predefined establishment-specific criteria is evaluated to determine whether the player should be offered access to premium content entertainment services. A player entitled to access such services is preferably presented with a list of available premium entertainment services. Upon receipt of the player's selection, a connection is established between the electronic gaming device and the provider of the selected premium entertainment service. The player's level of play is preferably monitored to ensure that the establishment-specific criteria for maintaining access to such services is being met.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2000
    Assignee: Walker Digital, LLC
    Inventors: Jay S. Walker, James A. Jorasch, Thomas M. Sparico
  • Patent number: 6030292
    Abstract: In a video reproducing apparatus, operating devices and recording devices are connected with a simple structure to record game information while operating the game, and a plurality of small capacity of external secondary memory can be used as a large capacity of external secondary memory. The main body of the video game machine is connected to a plurality of the operating devices with a serial interface so that serial data is communicated bidirectionally in accordance with a predetermined communication procedure while at the same time connecting recording devices to the serial interface respectively corresponding to a plurality of operating devices to allow the main body of the game machine to write predetermined data into and read it from recording devices in accordance with a communication procedure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 29, 2000
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Tetsuya Hirano, Hisayuki Kunigita, Shinichi Okamoto, Shinji Noda, Teiji Yutaka
  • Patent number: 6027408
    Abstract: An interactive game is disclosed which may take the form of a board game, a hand held game or a yard game. It includes a series of printed circuits or devices which may be concealed within a playing surface and an electronic detector for the circuits. Easily as many as 8 or 16 different discrete device may be detected and distinguished. Stored messages associated with each device or combinations of devices is displayed or audibly reproduce the messages.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2000
    Inventor: Jack Star
  • Patent number: 6019682
    Abstract: An electrically-powered bumper car for use in an amusement game. The car is capable of precise movement due to a joystick control and processor connected thereto. This gives the car a movement controllable as to speed and direction, including the ability to stop and reverse directions without repositioning of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2000
    Inventor: Emile Arabo
  • Patent number: 6007428
    Abstract: A video processing system is described including a video processing device which generates a sequence of video display frames on a display unit under the control of a stored program, and a unique operation controlling device which is connected to the video processing device and which supplies signals in response to an operator's manipulation, to change the video data generated by the video processing device. The video processing device includes a replaceable program memory, first data receiving circuitry, a central processing unit, first data sending circuitry and a video signal generation circuitry. The operation controlling device may include various operation controlling buttons, switches, an operation member, rotor bodies, rotation detection mechanisms, counting circuitry, reset signal generation circuitry, second receiving circuitry, transfer circuitry and second sending circuitry.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 28, 1999
    Assignee: Nintendo Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Satoshi Nishiumi, Kazuo Koshima
  • Patent number: 5989122
    Abstract: The invention relates to an apparatus for randomizing and verifying sets of playing cards. Also, the invention relates to a processing providing such an apparatus; feeding to the apparatus one or more cards either after they have been played in a game or from an unrandomized or unverified set of cards; and manually retrieving a verified true set of cards from the apparatus. Also, the invention relates to a process of playing in a casino setting or simulated casino setting, a card game comprising providing such an apparatus, feeding unverified sets of playing cards to the apparatus, and recovering verified true sets of cards from the apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 23, 1999
    Assignee: Casino Concepts, Inc.
    Inventor: Conrad Roblejo
  • Patent number: 5989123
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a steering wheel control apparatus for a television game machine, that is used for a car race game, etc., that is structured compactly and simply, and that can be operated while the apparatus is fixed at an optimal position. The feature of the steering wheel control apparatus is that a plurality of button switches transmitting game control signal are provided on a surface of upper posts between a center portion of a steering wheel and hand grips on each side thereof, within a range to which a thumbs of player's hand holding the grip without departing from the grips. Further, at the reverse of the center portion of the steering wheel, shift levers having operation points near the respective grips are provided. The side face of a base casing rotatably supporting the steering wheel is extended perpendicularly and to the front and to the rear so that the player can securely hold the base case between the thighs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 23, 1999
    Assignee: Sega Enterprises, Ltd.
    Inventors: Kenji Tosaki, Masanori Kudou
  • Patent number: 5984781
    Abstract: A gaming machine in which a game is controlled using virtual reels arranged to correspond to symbols of actual reels, increases the interest of a player in playing the game. A virtual symbol row arrangement is provided corresponding to a plurality of symbol rows to be displayed on a variable display, and is formed of the symbols that constitute each of the symbol rows. When a predetermined play condition is satisfied, a controller starts the operation of the variable display and samples random number values. In response to the sampled random number values, the controller determines stop symbols in the virtual symbol row arrangement for every symbol row. The controller controls the variable display to produce an image of the stop symbols when the variable display is stopped, and performs win determinations on a selected combination of the stop symbols. The virtual symbol row arrangement consists of at least two tables, with a plurality of virtual symbol rows disposed as one table.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 16, 1999
    Assignee: Aruze Corporation
    Inventor: Isao Sunaga
  • Patent number: 5976017
    Abstract: A stereoscopic-image game playing apparatus displays a screen image for right eye and a screen image for left eye on LCD 105, outputs images of the player obtained by cameras 103a and 103b to the receiving side, and displays images corresponding to the right half face and the left half face of the player based on the player's images on LCD 107. The images displayed on the LCD 107 are used as figures for selectively introducing lights from the screen images on the LCD 105, by lens 106, to the right and left eyes of the player. This enables stereoscopic vision without glasses for separating images respectively for the player's right and left eyes, and allows the player to move from the initial position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 2, 1999
    Assignee: Terumo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Shigeru Omori, Tomohiko Hattori, Kunimasa Katayama, Sadayuki Sakuma, Haruhiko Kamijo
  • Patent number: 5971850
    Abstract: An incentive producing apparatus having a symbol displaying device, a player actuated device for changing the symbols on the displaying device, an accounting device for recording the changes in symbol displays caused by the operation of the player actuated device, and a processor responsive to the manner in which the player operates the device in such a way that the device responds to player input in the form of response time relative to the time of day or calendar time in order to adjust the operation of the apparatus to automatically, continually, proportionally, and subtly increase or decrease the difficulty of operation to maintain the incentive of the player to continue to operate the apparatus. The apparatus can be in the form of a slot machine game, an arcade game, a video action game or an education game. An embodiment of each type of such apparatus is disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1999
    Assignee: Richard Spademan
    Inventor: Howard L. Liverance
  • Patent number: 5964640
    Abstract: A remotely-controllable motorized toy vehicle having a highly-maneuverable skid steering system driven by single or dual motors, having a separately motorized scoop loading device pivotally secured to the chassis of the vehicle operative to load transportable elements into a automatically dumpable hopper mounted on the vehicle, having an automatic tow hitch mechanism with both the hopper and the hitching mechanism coupled to a motorized scoop gear train. The mechanical arrangement of the scoop gear train provides for the sequential actuation of the scoop for loading transportable elements into the hopper and both the hopper for dumping and the hitch mechanism for hitching and unhitching towed vehicles or trailers. The mechanisms and gear trains have proper ratios and dimensions preventing interference between the scoop and the hopper during forward and reverse actuation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 12, 1999
    Assignee: Rokenbok Toy Company
    Inventors: William M. Barton, Lonnie C. Pogue, James A. Trinchera
  • Patent number: 5944607
    Abstract: When manually closed, switches in pads select toy vehicles and the operation of motors for moving the vehicles in different directions and moving in different directions a receptacle for holding transportable elements (e.g. marbles). When interrogated by a central station, each pad sends through wires to the station signals indicating the switch closures in such pad. Such station produces first binary signals addressing the vehicle selected by such pad and second binary signals identifying the motor control operations in such vehicle. Thereafter the switches identifying in such pad the motor control operations in such selected vehicle can be closed without closing the switches identifying such vehicle. The first and second signals for each vehicle are transmitted by wireless to all of the vehicles at a common carrier frequency modulated by the first and second binary signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 31, 1999
    Assignee: Rokenbok Toy Company
    Inventor: John J. Crane
  • Patent number: 5938531
    Abstract: An information reproducing apparatus applied to a psychological game machine which can evaluate the deep mental state of human, avoiding monotonous progress of a game. A plurality of image and audio information have previously been stored on a recording medium such that at least one of the plurality of image and audio information stored on the recording medium is selected for reproduction based on external operations and physiological changes in the body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 17, 1999
    Assignee: Pioneer Electronic Corporation
    Inventors: Mitsuo Yasushi, Satoshi Saitoh, Masatoshi Yanagidaira, Kazuhiro Akiyama
  • Patent number: 5919090
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for determining the win or loss of individual participants in a game of chance, such as for example Black Jack, Poker or the like, wherein the bet and the winnings are represented by chips. A central chip depository is provided for receiving the game inventory and the latter has means for determining its momentary content. At least one chip deposit area is provided per participant and has in each case at least one sensor for the detection of chips lying on the deposit area. The means for determining the momentary chip content and also the sensors have their outputs connected to the inputs of a data processing system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 6, 1999
    Assignee: Grips Electronic GmbH
    Inventor: Ewald Mothwurf
  • Patent number: 5910048
    Abstract: A method of operating slot machines to limit a player's losses is provided. The method comprises the steps of identifying a player; tracking an amount played and an amount paid out to the player by a first slot machine; determining if the player has lost more than a predetermined loss amount; and if the player has lost more than the predetermined loss amount after one of a predetermined number of plays, a predetermined amount played, a predetermined time of play, and the player stopping further play, crediting the player the difference between the predetermined loss amount and the player's actual loss.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 8, 1999
    Inventor: Isadore Feinberg
  • Patent number: 5893798
    Abstract: Hand-held electronic game devices employing push buttons and other controls to manipulate game play and action on electronic displays, e.g., Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) or Light Emitting Diode (LED) display devices. The game devices have unique elongated, tubular forms in the shape of a stick. The electronic displays are integral with the unique tubular forms and generally centrally mounted therein. Various types of controls are employed at either or both ends of the game devices including, e.g., push buttons, pull switches, spring-loaded balls, flip switches, mouse controls, pointer balls, lever arms, or the like. Game concepts and operations are utilized based upon the particular control mechanisms employed as well as the unique physical shape and appearance of the devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 13, 1999
    Assignee: Tiger Electronics, Ltd.
    Inventors: Zarko Stambolic, Shari L. Smith, Frank Mercurio, Howard J. Morrison
  • Patent number: 5890717
    Abstract: An interactive game is disclosed which may take the form of a board game, a hand held game or a yard game. It includes a series of printed circuits or devices which may be concealed within a playing surface and an electronic detector for the circuits. Easily as many as 8 or 16 different discrete device may be detected and distinguished. Stored messages associated with each device or combinations of devices is displayed or audibly reproduce the messages.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 6, 1999
    Inventors: Fenton Rosewarne, Howard H. Berger, Jack Star, Richard Perkins
  • Patent number: 5885159
    Abstract: Pads remotely control the operation of vehicles. In each pad, (a) at least a first control provides for the addressing of one of the vehicles, (b) second controls provide for the movement of the addressed vehicle and (c) third controls provide for the operation of members (e.g. pivotable bins) in the selected vehicle. Each pad provides a carrier signal, preferably common with the carrier signals from the other pads. Each pad modulates the carrier signal in accordance with the operation of the pad controls. The first control in each pad provides an address distinctive to the addressed vehicle and modulates the carrier signal in accordance with such address. Each pad sends the modulated carrier signals to the vehicles in a pseudo random pattern, different for each pad, with respect to time. Each vehicle demodulates the carrier signals to recover the address such vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 23, 1999
    Assignee: Rokenbok Toy Company
    Inventor: Peter C. DeAngelis
  • Patent number: 5885157
    Abstract: A dice game machine using a die in the shape of a regular hexahedron or dodecahedron. Each side of the die has a drawing of a symbol and is provided with a plurality of magnet pins having a pattern identifying the symbol on the opposite side. This die is accommodated in a rotatable cup having an upper portion, a lower portion, and a base opening. During the rotation of the cup, the die moves freely in the upper portion of the cup. When the rotation of the cup stops, the die falls into the lower portion of the cup in a predetermined posture. The die then has a bottom side in contact with a stage via the base opening. A plurality of Hall elements are disposed on the stage to detect corresponding magnet pins. A symbol identified by signals from the Hall elements is displayed on a display. Signals from a plurality of dice game machines are supplied to a computer which displays a combination of a plurality of symbols on the display.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 23, 1999
    Assignee: Eagle Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Mitsuhito Harada, Haruo Inoue
  • Patent number: 5879235
    Abstract: A roulette-like ball game machine has a rotary disk with a plurality of pockets arranged in a peripheral direction and assigned a number respectively, and a guide circle provided around the rotary disk at a somewhat higher position and joining to the rotary disk through an inclined surface. While the rotary disk is turned, a ball rolled along the guide circle falls inside and enters one of the pockets to decide a prize number. In such a ball game machine, a plurality of operation stands are arranged around the guide circle, the rotary disk is formed in an annular shape having a large inner diameter, a large-sized picture surface is provided within the central space of the rotary disk and various pictures are projected on the picture surface by an image projector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 9, 1999
    Assignee: Sega Enterprises, Ltd.
    Inventors: Makoto Kaneko, Yasuo Jin, Shingo Kataoka, Takanori Akiyama