John Suayan Nov. 5, 2015, 2:36pm


Two popular daily fantasy sports providers are the targets of a patent infringement lawsuit by an interactive gaming company with offices in McKinney.

Virtual Gaming Technologies, LLC’s suit, filed Nov. 2 in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas, alleges DraftKings, Inc. and FanDuel, Inc. have “undertaken to copy the technologies and inventions” associated with United States Patent Numbers 5,860,862 (“the ‘862 patent”) and 6,193,610 (“the ‘610 patent”).

“The claims in the patents-in-suit are directed at systems and methods that enable participants in a fantasy sports league, sometimes referred to as a “rotisserie league,” to interact with the contest system on a real-time basis,” the complaint states.

William W. Junkin, who court papers describe a pioneer in the interactive computer gaming industry, is the purported inventor of the ‘862 and ‘610 patents. The ‘862 patent, titled “Interactive system allowing real time participation”, was issued on Jan. 19, 1999, while the ‘610 patent, titled “Interactive television system and methodology”, was issued on Feb. 27, 2001.

“Numerous studies and articles have confirmed the value of Mr. Junkin’s inventions, which are drivers of the increased popularity of fantasy sports today,” the suit says. “For example, at the time that Mr. Junkin conceived of the inventions disclosed by the patents-in-suit, the playing of fantasy sports games was a fringe activity enjoyed by few. However, due to Mr. Junkin’s inventions, “as of August, 56.8 million people in the United States and Canada [have] played fantasy sports in 2015. What’s more, fantasy sports has become a $27 billion business due to the excitement provided by advanced interactive gaming systems such those invented by Mr. Junkin.”

According to the original petition, DraftKings and FanDuel made or sold and are continuing to make or sell its products, which include interactive gaming technologies, based on the disputed patents without the plaintiff’s authorization.

It also argues the respondents have “induced and continues to induce users of the accused products to use the accused products in their ordinary and customary way to infringe” on the aforementioned patents.

Consequently, Virtual Gaming seeks unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial. Attorneys Elizabeth L. DeRieux and D. Jeffrey Rambin of the law firm Capshaw Derieux, LLP in Gladewater, Matt Olavi, Brian J. Dunne, Donna S. Berger and Daniel P. Hipskind of the law firm Olavi & Dunne LLP in Austin and Los Angeles serve as the plaintiff’s counsel.

Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas Case Nos. 2:15-CV-1706, 2:15-CV-1707

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