Patents Examined by Kerry Owens
  • Patent number: 5806849
    Abstract: An electronic game system includes a game console, which accepts a game cartridge and runs the games stored therein, and a wireless controller for controlling actions in the game. The wireless controller includes a radio frequency transmitter for sending control signals to the console, and the console includes a receiver for receiving the control signals from the controller. Because the controller uses radio frequency signals instead of infrared signals to send information to the console, the controller may be operated at a large distance from the console. Thus, the game system of the invention may be used in long range applications wherein the console and the controller need to be separated by a relatively large distance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 1994
    Date of Patent: September 15, 1998
    Assignee: Electronic Arts, Inc.
    Inventor: Ricky Allen Rutkowski
  • Patent number: 5516104
    Abstract: A slot machine which uses pachinko balls as game media. It stores in a memory the number of pachinko balls (unit number) economically equivalent to a medal. During take in of pachinko balls for starting a game and dispensing of pachinko balls as prizes, pachinko balls corresponding to an integral multiplication of the unit number are handled. When the unit number is changed, it can be easily accomplished by a change in a value of the unit number using the change instruction inputting apparatus. In the slot machine, the sprocket which controls the dispensing of the pachinko balls and the ratchet wheel are preferably set on the same axis and disengageably linked by a fixing projection and a fixing concave provided on them for conjoint rotation when required.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 14, 1996
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Ace Denken
    Inventors: Takatoshi Takemoto, Kazunari Kawashima, Masayuki Tsurumi, Eiji Ito, Katsuhiro Naito
  • Patent number: 5511781
    Abstract: A system is adaptable to any game where a player sequentially receives a number of elements having identifying characteristics, with certain combinations of elements defined to be winning combinations. After all or part of an initial set of elements is obtained, the system offers the player an award to stop play prior to receiving a final set of elements. The amount of the offer is preferably based, at least in part, upon the probabilities of obtaining a winning combination using the initial set of elements received by the player. In accepting the "stop play" offer, the play of the game may cease, with the player forfeiting the right to win an award based on the final winning combinations, or, in an alternate embodiment, play can continue with an award, if any, based upon a modified pay schedule.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 1993
    Date of Patent: April 30, 1996
    Assignee: United Games, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael W. Wood, Hugh J. Shaddick, Richard S. Schneider
  • Patent number: 5472194
    Abstract: An apparatus for a progressive jackpot game where multiple gaming tables at multiple facilities are electronically linked to allow players at the multiple tables to play for a progressive jackpot as well as a fixed payout. Betting and winning hand information is input at the gaming tables, and the information is sent over a network to a facility computer that sends the information to a central computer. Multiple facility computers are linked to the central computer by telephone lines. The central computer compiles all the betting and winning hand information and computes the progressive jackpot amount. The progressive jackpot amount is sent to the facility computers that control electronic displays boards for displaying the jackpot amount.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 5, 1995
    Assignee: Shuffle Master, Inc.
    Inventors: John G. Breeding, James Helgesen
  • Patent number: 5462275
    Abstract: A player interactive live action football game which may be played for example on a television screen. A player interactive live action football game is provided which comprises a random access storage and retrieval device and a plurality of individual, pre-recorded action football plays illustrating interaction of players of opposite teams. This information is stored in random access storage and retrieval device and accessible according to type of play. The invention further comprises a microprocessor and microprocessor control device electronically associated with the random access storage and retrieval device. The microprocessor is programmed to enable one or more users to select in sequence, through the control device, different football plays according to play type. A display device is electronically associated with the microprocessor to enable the selected plays to be viewed by the users.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 1991
    Date of Patent: October 31, 1995
    Assignees: Gordon Wilson, Danny D. Lowe
    Inventors: Danny D. Lowe, Gordon G. Wilson, Michael E. Baker, Abram Gamer
  • Patent number: 5452901
    Abstract: A remote controllable toy including a plurality of passive toy units, a plurality of transmitters for remotely controlling the passive toy units, and synchronizing signal transmitting means for transmitting a synchronizing signal to the passive toy units and the transmitters. Each of the transmitters of the passive toy units transmits a control signal for controlling the corresponding passive toy unit when identifying a transmission timing allocated thereto by referring to the synchronizing signal. Each of the passive toy units receives both the synchronizing signal and the control signal, and identifies the timing allocated thereto by referring to the received synchronizing signal, so that it is actuated in accordance with the control signal received within the timing allocated thereto.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 1994
    Date of Patent: September 26, 1995
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha B-AI
    Inventors: Takashi Nakada, Masaaki Nitobe
  • Patent number: 5447315
    Abstract: A method and apparatus is disclosed for sensing the position and speed (force) of a projectile striking a target of arbitrary size and shape. The strike produces an acoustic shock wave which travels outward from the point of impact, striking several acoustic sensors at the periphery of the target.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 1994
    Date of Patent: September 5, 1995
    Inventor: John D. Perkins
  • Patent number: 5437451
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus are provided in which a player may build a winning card hand. According to one method of playing a card game, a player is provided with sequential opportunities to build a winning hand comprising the steps of: providing a player with an opportunity to make a wager; providing a player with a first plurality of cards wherein one of said cards is first optional card; providing said player with the choice of keeping or discarding said first optional card; subsequently providing said player with a first replacement card if said player discarded said first optional card and providing said player with a second optional card; providing said player with the choice of keeping or discarding said second optional card; subsequently providing said player with a second replacement card if said player discarded said second optional card; and providing said player with a winning payout if said player's final hand favorably compares with a predetermined winning payout schedule.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 1, 1995
    Assignee: DD Stud, Inc.
    Inventor: Stanley E. Fulton
  • Patent number: 5437576
    Abstract: A combination bowling pinspotter and pinspotter control chassis system is disclosed which provides a bowling pinspotter having circuitry for permitting the spotting of bowling pins and an all solid state pinspotter control chassis coupled to the pinspotter for controlling the operation of the pinspotter. The all solid state pinspotter controller provides circuitry for executing a short strike cycles. In addition, the pinspotter controller secures power to a back end motor of the pinspotter in order to conserve the energy consumed by the back end motor. The pinspotter controller provides circuitry coupled to a remote control console for permitting the pinspotter to complete a current cycle prior to executing a shut down command for the pinspotter from the remote control console. In addition, the all solid state pinspotter controller retains status and position data for the pinspotter during power interrupts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 1, 1995
    Assignee: Creative Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: William J. Tuten, Kennith D. Crosby
  • Patent number: 5437464
    Abstract: A data reading and image processing system for a video entertainment system with a CD-ROM capability is disclosed with a pair of separate computer systems that are controlled through a controller for accessing data from a memory unit. A first computer system can control the reading of data and the storing of the data in the memory unit in coordination with a first synchronization time period while the second computer system can control the processing of video data signals in an image processing circuit during a second synchronization time period. The data can be appropriately enabled to a position within the memory unit to assist in parallel processing by both computer systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 1992
    Date of Patent: August 1, 1995
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Sega Enterprises
    Inventors: Junichi Terasima, Toshinori Asai, Masaki Kawahori
  • Patent number: 5437457
    Abstract: A golf simulator is provided with an improved trajectory sensing and spin detector. The trajectory sending system includes a first row of light sensors located adjacent to a tee and receiving light from a first light source directly above the tee. Second and third rows of light sensors are positioned away from the tee. The second row receives light from a second source directly overhead. The third row receives light from the first light source where a plane of light is defined between the first light source and the third row of sensors. The time intervals between a golf ball passing from the tee to the first plane of light and to the second plane of light, where the second plane of light is defined by the second light source and the second row of sensors are detected by the first, second, and third rows of light sensors. The angle of elevation of a golf ball is determined as a function of the ratio of the first and second time intervals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 1, 1995
    Assignee: Virtual Golf, Inc.
    Inventor: Donald B. Curchod
  • Patent number: 5435564
    Abstract: An electronic word building machine including a keyboard to input a user determined set of letters, a set of words in memory, a comparison program to compare the input set of letters with the set of words in memory to provide a set of matching words from the set of words in memory, the set of matching words including words which consist only of a subset of letters from the input set of letters, a ranking program to provide a predetermined score for each of the words in the set of matching words, and a display to display on the machine each of the words in the sequence of the value of the score together with the score value of the word being displayed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1993
    Date of Patent: July 25, 1995
    Assignee: Franklin Electronic Publishers, Incorporated
    Inventors: Stephen Kennedy, David McWherter
  • Patent number: 5435552
    Abstract: The invention relates to an electronic game comprising a LCD game in which various elements of the game may be controlled by a player having to locate balls in recesses in the manner of a traditional rolling ball game. The game comprises a LCD 1, control means for generating the LCD image and for controlling a game thereon, a graphic display surrounding the LCD and including recesses 3 in which metal balls 4 may be received. The recesses include electrical contacts which are bridged by a ball when received therein to generate a signal whereby the ball rolling and electronic components may interface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 1993
    Date of Patent: July 25, 1995
    Assignee: Welback Enterprises Ltd.
    Inventor: Mung-Ping Lui
  • Patent number: 5429554
    Abstract: An automatic pin setter includes a pinsetting deck structure movable toward and away from a pin supporting surface on a bowling lane for controlling setting of bowling pins on the lane supporting surface. A rake sweeps pins from the lanes. A rake up switch senses if the rake is in a raised position. A drive system is operatively coupled to the deck structure and rake and includes a cycle solenoid, the drive system for controlling an automatic pin setter cycle in response to energization of the solenoid. The pinsetter cycle controls movement of the deck structure and the rake to selectively remove or set pins on the lane. A pit cushion is positioned at a rear end of the lane and is linked to the rake to lower the rake from the raised position when a thrown ball strikes the pit cushion. A control comprises a ball sensor mounted on the lane before the pit cushion for sensing presence of a ball on the lane and developing an electrical trigger signal in response thereto.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 1993
    Date of Patent: July 4, 1995
    Assignee: Brunswick Bowling & Billiards Corporation
    Inventor: Roy A. Burkholder
  • Patent number: 5423556
    Abstract: An interactive computer game uses a digital computer system with a display and an interactive means for communicating user input to the computer system. The system displays on the display an array of elements in rows and columns, each of the elements having a feature distinguishable by a player of the game. In addition, at least one element can be moved by the user via the interactive means. This element can be added at one end of a row or a column of the array thereby shifting this row or column by one element and removing another element from an opposite end of the row or column. When a row or a column is formed in which the elements have a predetermined pattern of features, that row or column is erased from the display. If, within a given time interval, a player is unable to build such a row or a column which has a predetermined pattern of features, the system adds a new row or column of elements to the display.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 1993
    Date of Patent: June 13, 1995
    Assignee: World Epsilon Enterprise Inc.
    Inventor: Nourakhmed Latypov
  • Patent number: 5423538
    Abstract: A device for aiding in practicing of a golf stroke. A first adjustable signal means produces a first delayed sensible signal at a selectable first time period after the beginning of the backstroke, and a second adjustable signal means produces a second delayed sensible signal at an independently selectable second time period after the first delayed sensible signal. The first time period is adjusted or selected to correspond to the duration of the backswing for the individual golfer, while the second time period is selected to correspond to the duration of the downstroke until contact with the ball.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 13, 1995
    Inventor: Freddie O. Stewart
  • Patent number: 5421590
    Abstract: Linked game controllers coupled to a single input port of a computer game are configured such that all controllers may be active at the same time. One controller is coupled to an input port on the computer game which has both a parallel-bit interface and a bit-serial interface. This controller provides information on its own control function via the parallel interface and information derived from each of the linked controllers via the serial interface. Each of the controllers includes a flag bit, in the provided information, that indicates whether the controller is the last controller in the sequence of linked controllers. The computer game stores data values provided by the parallel interface and then shifts values provided by the serial interface into an internal register until one of the flag bits, indicating the last controller in the sequence, has been shifted. The shifted data is then separated into different control functions which are then provided to the computer game apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 1993
    Date of Patent: June 6, 1995
    Assignee: Commodore Electronics Limited
    Inventor: George Robbins
  • Patent number: 5421576
    Abstract: A game machine for providing a game, the regularity of which cannot be easily recognized by the player, by making use of a chaotic random number produced by a random number generating means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 1993
    Date of Patent: June 6, 1995
    Assignee: Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Shunpei Yamazaki, Akiharu Miyanaga, Toshiji Hamatani, Norihiko Seo
  • Patent number: 5419549
    Abstract: A baseball pitcher game and training apparatus includes a free swinging target receptacle which is positioned at one end of an elongate enclosure with a player's station positioned at the opposite end of the enclosure. A target is removably positioned in the target receptacle, with the target including a target image printed thereon. An X-Y grid of conductive lines scanned by a target processor determines the position at which a thrown ball impacts the target and the direction and magnitude of spin of the ball. A radar gun positioned in the elongate enclosure has a beam directed across the flight path of the ball to determine the speed of the thrown ball. A game computer is programmed for a game strategy and methodology which rewards throwing speed and accuracy and includes an interactive voice module for verbal feedback to the player. An improved ball return mechanism permits balls to be selectively and reliably returned and dispensed to a player.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 1993
    Date of Patent: May 30, 1995
    Assignee: Umlimited Ideas Corporation
    Inventors: William R. Galloway, Richard H. Galloway, Allen B. Ellison, Charles R. West
  • Patent number: 5419562
    Abstract: In method and apparatus for analyzing motion of an individual for a predetermined activity, such as during a golf swing, forces on weight pads supporting the individual's feet are converted to signals corresponding to relative weights and dynamic forces on the weight pads. These parameters are displayed numerically as well as graphically on a video image of the individual during performance of the activity, in order to enable the analysis of variation in weight distribution and dynamic forces during the activity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 1993
    Date of Patent: May 30, 1995
    Inventor: John I. Cromarty