U.S. Patent No. D851,086 S – GDC Edition

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The Game Developers Conference is open March 16 – 20, 2020, in San Francisco, California, the industry’s largest trade show.  Numerous exhibitors will be present, including Oculus.  A recently-issued patent is U.S. Patent No. D851,086 S, issued June 11, 2019, entitled “Wireless Game Controller.”  The inventors are Yi-yuan Chen and Peter Wesley Bristol of Seattle, Washington, and Quintin Morris of Issaquah, Washington.  The applicant is Oculus VR, LLC, of Menlo Park, California, and the assignee is Facebook Technologies LLC of Menlo Park, California.

Figure 1 illustrates the ornamental design of the gaming controller.

Source: U.S. Patent No. D851,086, June 11, 2019, to Yi-yuan Chen and Peter Wesley Bristol & Quintin Morris (inventors); Oculus VR, LLC (applicant); Facebook Technologies LLC (assignee)

The single claim is directed to ornamental features of the testing instrument, and not directed to the actual methods or use of the game controller itself (35 U.S.C. §171).

The Cooperative Patent Classifications are A63F, card, board or roulette games, namely, video games, i.e., games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions (13/00) and accessories (13/02), and games not otherwise provided for (9/00); and G06F, electric digital data processing, namely, digital computing or data processing equipment or methods, specially adapted for specific functions (17/00) and digital computing or data processing equipment or methods, specially adapted for specific applications (19/00)

The actual functionality of the game controller and its wireless capabilities explain the broad range of searched classifications.  Nevertheless, the ‘086 patent only protects the aesthetic features of the design, rather than the actual functionality, which would be protected by a utility patent (35 U.S.C. §101).

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