Search Team

Search by Last Name
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z

EX PARTE DEITRA A. KUESTER AND ERIC J. KUESTER

Representative Claim

  1. A method of assembling a universal game board, the method comprising:

arranging a plurality of cards on a base to indicate a fixed path of movement, wherein said base comprises a plurality of compartments, sized and shaped to receive and retain each card in place for the duration of a game after said cards have been arranged in one of a plurality of different configurations;

playing a game on said base in accordance with predetermined rules; and

retaining each card in place for the duration of a game;

wherein a game piece is advanced along said path of movement from one of said plurality of cards arranged on said base to another of said plurality of cards arranged on said base.

Posture:

Appeal

Abstract Idea: Yes

With respect to the first step of the Alice framework, we agree with the Examiner that claim 12 is directed to an abstract idea. See Final Act. 7. Claim 12, which recites “[a] method of teaching,” includes steps for arranging cards on a base to indicate a path of movement, playing a game on the base, and retaining each card in place for the duration of the game. Reply Br. 8, Claims App. We agree with the Examiner that this claim is directed to the rules for playing a type of game, and that rules for playing a game constitute an abstract idea. See Final Act. 7. We view a method of playing a game as being akin to the “method of organizing human activity” that was at issue in Alice. 134 S. Ct. at 2356.

Something More: Yes

We note that the claim recites that the base includes compartments “sized and shaped to receive and retain each card in place for the duration of a game after said cards have been arranged in one of a plurality of different configurations.” Reply Br. 8, Claims App (emphasis added). The claim further recites “retaining each card in place for the duration of a game.” Id. Thus, contrary to the Examiner’s position, the method could not be performed with a generic deck of cards and a table because playing a game on an ordinary table would not satisfy these limitations. These limitations tie the method to a base having specific structural characteristics that allow it to perform a specified function in the claimed method. Accordingly, these limitations add a degree of particularity so as to “‘transform’ the claimed abstract idea into [] patent-eligible [subject matter].” Alice at 2357 (quoting Mayo at 1298).