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Pierce Law IP Library Celebrates Inventorship from Patent Models to Video Technologies


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Ralph H. Baer:
The Father of Video Games

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Pierce Law IP Library Celebrates Inventorship from Patent Models to Video Technologies

  1. 1. Pierce Law IP Library Celebrates Inventorship from Patent Models to Video Technologies Ralph H. Baer: The Father of Video Games
  2. 2. The Dramatic Law Story <ul><li>Video Games by Inventor Ralph Baer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Inception </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduction to practice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prosecution of the famous patents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The stealthy activity of competitors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The long patent prosecution battle between corporate giants </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. From the beginning… <ul><li>Ralph Baer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The man </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The patriot </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The corporate inventor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The tireless crusader to protect his inventions </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. 1922-1938 <ul><li>Ralph H. Baer was born in Southwestern Germany in 1922 </li></ul><ul><li>In 1938, however, Baer left Germany for the U.S. with his parents via Holland </li></ul>
  5. 5. 1940 <ul><li>In 1940, Baer graduated from the National Radio Institute as a radio service technician </li></ul>
  6. 6. 1940-1943 <ul><li>For the next three years, Baer ran three radio service stores in New York City </li></ul><ul><ul><li>He serviced all types of home and auto radios, early FM radios (42-48MHz), and TV sets (RCA TRS-9 and 12) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In addition he built PA systems </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. 1943 <ul><li>In 1943, Baer joined the U.S. Army, where he served one year stateside and two years overseas in Europe during World War II </li></ul>
  8. 8. 1943-1946 <ul><li>While in the U.S. Army, Baer was assigned to Military Intelligence attached to Eisenhower’s Headquarters but was stationed in France </li></ul><ul><li>During his service, he became an expert on military small arms and returned home in 1946 with 18 tons of foreign small arms to be put on display </li></ul>
  9. 9. 1946-1949 <ul><li>After his service in the Army, Baer attended American Television Institute of Technology (ATIT) in Chicago. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Baer graduated with BS in Television Engineering - first time TV Engineering degree was conferred anywhere. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. 1952 <ul><li>In 1952, Baer married Dena Whinston in New York. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Together they had three children, one daughter and two sons. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. 1949 to 1956 <ul><li>After completing school in 1949, Baer began working at Wappler, Inc. From there he went on to work at Loral Electronics and Transitron, Inc. before joining Sanders Associates in 1956. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>While working at Sanders Associates, Baer began his work on video games, which eventually led to the successful patenting of the first video game. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. 2006 <ul><li>In February 2006, President George W. Bush presented Ralph Baer with the National Medal of Technology for his pioneering work in the video game industry </li></ul>
  13. 13. Ralph Baer’s Firsts
  14. 14. 1949 <ul><li>First to demonstrate a hands-off, voice-switched Intercom for home use </li></ul>
  15. 15. 1954 <ul><li>First to develop a practical low-level AM Modulation System for amateur radio and commercial radio transmissions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This halved the size of a typical power supply typically required for normal AM Plate Modulation Systems. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. 1965 <ul><li>First to develop an electronic organ with a splittable keyboard </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lowest 12 keys were switchable to become either a cord section or the normal low end of the keyboard </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. 1965 <ul><li>First to develop a Talking Altimeter </li></ul>
  18. 18. 1967 <ul><li>First to demonstrate an Interactive Video Quiz Game: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Coded “spots” on-screen contain RIGHT/WRONG data which provides immediate feedback to student/viewer. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A novel way to make linear video tape presentations into interactive video training, education or game tapes. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. 1967 <ul><li>Here is a sample of one of the first guns made to play an interactive video game quiz </li></ul>
  20. 20. 1967 <ul><li>First to build a two-player Video action Game (chase and gun game) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This ‘480 patent is the Pioneer Patent of the Video Game Industry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1 st Filing:1/15/68 </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. 1967 <ul><li>First to demonstrate Ping-Pong and other Sports Video Games </li></ul>
  22. 22. 1969 First to develop a Parachute Dereefing system
  23. 23. 1969 <ul><li>First to design and build a programmable, multiplayer game, The “BROWN BOX” </li></ul>
  24. 24. 1969 <ul><li>First to demonstrate a Golf Video Game using actual golf ball (mounted on a joystick) and a putter </li></ul>
  25. 25. 1970 <ul><li>First to use multi layer printed circuit techniques to mass produce Capacitive Dynamic and Magnetic Core Memory boards using multilayer p.c. techniques </li></ul>
  26. 26. 1973 <ul><li>First to couple video game to audio tape player for natural sounds under game control </li></ul>
  27. 27. 1973 <ul><li>First to show Video Branching in real time on a linear medium (e.g. on video tape) </li></ul>
  28. 28. 1974 <ul><li>First to nest & extract data optically from video presentation in real time </li></ul>
  29. 29. 1975 <ul><li>First to allow captions and other A/N data or graphics to be introduced into a TV set via its antenna terminals (provides captions in ordinary TV set) </li></ul>
  30. 30. 1977 <ul><li>First to develop a programmable & remotely controllable record changer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Its objective was to make remote control and automatic band changes possible for ordinary record changers to make “space age” products out of them. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All of this did not become a standard feature of consumer audio products until the advent of CD audio players </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. 1977 Patents related to the Programmable Remotely Controlled Record Changer
  32. 32. 1978 <ul><li>First to nest data on videotape/disc where that data is related in real time to locations and characteristics of on screen pictorial information </li></ul>
  33. 33. 1978
  34. 34. 1978 <ul><li>First Precision Rifle Shooting Video Training System for use with large screen (projected) imagery. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Resolution high enough to resolve single scan line and five microsecond image width </li></ul></ul>
  35. 35. 1979 <ul><li>First to develop a truly successful microprocessor controlled hand held sequence game, Milton Bradley’s “Simon” </li></ul>
  36. 36. 1980 <ul><li>First to design a Video 21 Gaming Machine </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Used a B&W monitor ad colored Acrylic overlays to cut cost. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Started at Gamex and completed at Bally- Midway </li></ul></ul>
  37. 37. 1980 <ul><li>First to draw interactive symbols on a TV screen during video game play </li></ul>
  38. 38. 1981 <ul><li>First to patent and demonstrate Instant Replay for video games </li></ul>
  39. 39. 1983 <ul><li>First to propose glove like devices (e.g. hand puppet) as video game or interactive VCR game controller </li></ul>
  40. 40. 1983 <ul><li>The patent issued in 1985 for a hand puppet as a video game </li></ul>
  41. 41. 1984 <ul><li>First to digitize faces, etc. for use in video game program </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital circuitry built for first video game using Digitized Faces of “famous” persons (e.g. NFL Quaterback) </li></ul></ul>
  42. 42. 1984 <ul><li>Drawing shows a Video Camera to place gamer’s face on the screen of a video game </li></ul>
  43. 43. 1984 <ul><li>First to develop an interactive VCR game with real time branching to 2-4 screens and 2-4 audio tracks nested in video signal </li></ul>
  44. 44. 1985 <ul><li>First to develop MultiView real time instant branching to different venues of the same action (e.g. football game) </li></ul>
  45. 45. 1987 <ul><li>First to develop a doll that could hold a book or look at a flashcard and read the text of the page out loud </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Doll swivels head from side to side while reading remote bar code nested illustrations and made of IR absorptive ink. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IR beam focused into vertical line segment scans the code, reflects code to IR receiver and µprocessor/Voice synthesizer </li></ul></ul>
  46. 46. 1987 <ul><li>First to develop a plush bear capable of interacting with characters on screen during VCR presentation while under control of data nested in video signal </li></ul>
  47. 47. 1987 <ul><li>In 1989, the patent issued for a plush bear interacting with a character on screen </li></ul>
  48. 48. 1993 <ul><li>First to develop interactive, RECORDABLE talking books for Golden Book </li></ul>
  49. 49. 1995 <ul><li>First to develop & license a line of electronics for GI Joe to Milton-Bradley </li></ul>
  50. 50. 1997 <ul><li>First to develop a Talking Speedometer and Odometer for bicycles (Milton-Bradley’s ) “BikeMax” (1997) </li></ul>
  51. 51. 1996 <ul><li>First to design recordable Talking Picture Frame for 1-4 photos & voice messages and Talking Compass </li></ul>
  52. 52. 2000-2003 <ul><li>First to develop a Talking Tape Measurer and other Talkin’ Tools licensed to Hasbro/Tonka </li></ul>
  53. 53. <ul><li>The Lawsuits Surrounding Ralph Baer’s Inventions </li></ul>
  54. 54. 1966 <ul><li>Ralph Baer’s idea of video games first materialized on paper in 1966 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The legal record pictured here, which described various video games using a TV set, would become an important document in several litigations down the road </li></ul></ul>
  55. 55. 1967-1969 <ul><li>Over the next few years, Baer transformed what was written on paper into the first video games playable through a TV set </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prototypes of the game consoles are pictured below. Eight generations of consoles led to the first video game set for home use. </li></ul></ul>
  56. 56. 1971 <ul><li>Sanders licensed the Brown Box to Magnavox Company along with other pending patent applications </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As part of the license, Magnavox was responsible for going after any infringers </li></ul></ul>
  57. 57. 1972 <ul><li>By 1972, Magnavox Company had developed Odyssey from Baer’s Brown Box </li></ul>In May of 1972, Odyssey was first shown to the public and went on sell later that summer
  58. 58. 1972 <ul><li>It was during a demonstration that Nolan Bushnell, who later developed Atari, learned of Odyssey </li></ul><ul><ul><li>During the demonstration, Bushnell played Odyssey’s ping-pong game hands-on </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>By late fall, Bushnell and Ted Dabney had developed the Atari Pong game </li></ul></ul>
  59. 59. 1975 <ul><li>No action was taken against Bushnell and Dabney for three years </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This was due to the early state of video games where the potential was just beginning to be realized </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In addition, at this point the cost to go after Bushnell and Dabney would exceed the returns </li></ul></ul>
  60. 60. 1976 <ul><li>Magnavox finally decided to go after Atari and Bushnell in a suit joined with Chicago Dynamics, Bally, and Seeburg </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The parties joined in an attempt to invalidate the patents held by Sanders and licensed to Magnavox </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Soon after the litigation began, Atari opted out of the suit and took a license from Magnavox. The other parties continued. </li></ul></ul>
  61. 61. 1976 <ul><li>During trial, Baer would spend several days on the witness stand as a fact witness explaining the ins and outs of video games </li></ul>
  62. 62. 1976 <ul><li>The attorneys for Magnavox would prove to find a winning strategy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They argued that Baer’s patent was based on two objects touching each other and causing one of the objects to do something </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Also they argued that one of the object must be manually controlled while the other was machine controlled </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The key language is shown below from claim number 2 </li></ul></ul>
  63. 63. <ul><li>This strategy was very successful as it encompassed nearly all video games at the time </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Magnavox would go on to win cases against Atari, Mattel, Activision, Nintendo and Sega </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Each lawsuit ended in the same manner, with the other party obtaining a license from Magnavox </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Over $100 million dollars in license fees were paid by these companies </li></ul></ul>
  64. 64. 1922 to Present <ul><li>The Father of Video Games From his first interests in electronics, to his disclosure of video games, to the Brown Box Ralph Baer has shaped the video game industry </li></ul>
  65. 65. The End