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Gaelco S.A. v. Arachnid 360, LLC

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

December 21, 2017

Gaelco S.A. and Gaelco Darts S.L., Plaintiffs,
v.
Arachnid 360, LLC, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER

          HONORABLE THOMAS M. DURKIN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiffs Gaelco S.A. and Gaelco Darts S.L. (collectively, “Gaelco”) sued defendant Arachnid 360, LLC (“Arachnid”) for allegedly infringing Gaelco's patent covering a system and method for remotely refereeing dart games. Arachnid moves to dismiss Gaelco's complaint under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), arguing that Gaelco's asserted claims are not directed to patent-eligible subject matter pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 101. R. 19. For the following reasons, the Court grants Arachnid's motion.

         Background

         A. Gaelco's Patent

         The Court accepts well-pleaded facts in Gaelco's complaint as true for purposes of deciding Arachnid's Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. Mann v. Vogel, 707 F.3d 872, 877 (7th Cir. 2013). Gaelco S.A. is the assignee of U.S. Patent No. 7, 361, 083 (the “'083 patent”), and Gaelco Darts S.L. is the exclusive licensee of the technology disclosed in the '083 patent. R. 1 ¶ 6. The United States Patent and Trademark Office issued the '083 patent on April 22, 2008. Id.¶ 7.

         The patent is titled “Multimedia system and method for remote monitoring or refereeing in dart machines.” Id. It “contains claims directed to a remote monitoring or referee system for one or more dart machines where at least one refereeing center receives multimedia and captured content of play information to determine whether at least one of the players complies with at least one condition of play.” Id.¶ 9.

         The '083 patent's “Description of the Invention” section states, in part:

An object of the present invention is to provide a management system and method for amusement machines, located either in substantially the same location or at a remote location with respect to one another. The system and method is applicable to any type of amusement machines, whether sports machines (e.g., darts, etc.) or otherwise.
Another object the [sic] invention is to provide a method to manage the refereeing of the games played on amusement machines wherein a human or non-human referee can make decisions at a remote site. Monitoring or Refereeing may occur in real time or with a time delay, based, at least in part, on multimedia information captured from the amusement machines which may communicate over a network such as the Internet. Accordingly, the system and method enables game play to be monitored and refereed, cheating to be reduced and enhances fair competition in games and between players. . . .
[T]he multimedia information and other data may be transmitted over a network (e.g., a LAN, WAN, the Internet, a wireless network, a cellular network, etc.) to an appropriate receiving device (e.g., monitors, computers, speakers, etc.) at the refereeing center. . . .
[T]he system of this invention permits playing individual or team competitions on a global scale, wherein the games are played with efficient supervision of all incidents of play, as it includes the game environment in the system.

R. 1-1 cols. 2-4.

         Claim 1 recites:

A remote monitoring or refereeing system for one or more dart machines comprising:
one or more dart machines, each of the one or more dart machines comprising:
play components and means to capture multimedia information relating to conduct of play and performance of players using the one or more dart machines;
at least one camera to capture the conduct of play; and
means for transmitting the multimedia and captured conduct of play information, and
at least one refereeing center to receive multimedia and captured conduct of play information, to determine whether at least one of the players complies with at least one condition of play, either nearly instantaneously or with a time delay, and to transmit data including the determination as to whether at least one of the players complies with at least one condition of play to the one or more dart machines.

R. 1-1 col. 6.

         Claim ...


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