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ZillahEnoch
05-14-2014, 10:04 PM
Just thank you Gatticus for your insightful law explanations.

Given how the forums are usually treating you, this is a very nice move. :)

Looking forward to read more.

GatticusFinch
05-14-2014, 10:05 PM
The lawsuit doesn't mention Duels of the Planeswalker once, and while that contains a way to play Magic partially, it's even further from what Hex is.

You clearly didn't even bother to read the "lawsuit." It has a fucking picture of Duels on page 15. Paragraph 20 is ENTIRELY about Duels.

Svenn
05-14-2014, 10:07 PM
Does it look similar now?

http://www.kritikanstvo.ru/games/m/magic2014duelsoftheplaneswalkers/images/magic2014duelsoftheplaneswalkers_ps3_523696.jpg

I'd say so.
Honestly, to me, they seem quite different (but I don't know how close they have to be for it to be a problem). The design of the circle in the center and the platform for the deck are pretty similar (and I'm not sure why they would go as far as to have those elements in Hex), but overall the design feels very different (especially in stuff like the angle). Does DOTP have hovering cards for flying creatures or anything similar?

GatticusFinch
05-14-2014, 10:10 PM
@GatticusFinch do you know how things like common use, public domain etc. effect this?

Those are copyright issues, not trademark/trade dress issues. The copyright claim is the weakest of the three. Those two doctrines play no role in this at all--the copyrightable elements of MtG won't be in the public domain for decades, and I assume by common use you mean fair use, which would be the most uphill of uphill battles for CZE to fight.

maniza
05-14-2014, 10:10 PM
Does it look similar now?

http://www.kritikanstvo.ru/games/m/magic2014duelsoftheplaneswalkers/images/magic2014duelsoftheplaneswalkers_ps3_523696.jpg

I'd say so.

not similar enough to shut down hex id say... let me put a dota pic next to a lol pic and ask thesame question to you...
never mind

Clay_B
05-14-2014, 10:12 PM
not similar enough to shut down hex id say... let me put a dota pic next to a lol pic and ask thesame question to you...
never mind

Would it look similar to a ~50-60 y.o Judge who might not have seen anything like either before? That's what I worry about...

GatticusFinch
05-14-2014, 10:14 PM
not similar enough to shut down hex id say... let me put a dota pic next to a lol pic and ask thesame question to you...
never mind

DOTA and LOL is a totally different argument. That is like showing Doom and Halo and saying they are the same because they both are FPS. DOTA and LOL are both MOBAs and that would be the general lack of copyright protection on video games. Just like MtG can't shut down every card game ever, DOTA and LOL can't shut down each other or other MOBAs.

Look at the pictures in the complaint. The picture of Hex and DOTP look very similar--tapped cards, attack arcs, etc. From a trade dress perspective, I think they look very similar.

MatWith1T
05-14-2014, 10:14 PM
Thanks Gatticus for unwittingly volunteering to be this forum's legal consultant for the next year(s).

You should keep "Copyright ≠ Patent" somewhere where you can quickly copy/paste it ;)

Makizushi
05-14-2014, 10:17 PM
The lawsuit doesn't mention Duels of the Planeswalker once, and while that contains a way to play Magic partially, it's even further from what Hex is.

Yes it does! Have you read the Scribd transcript? The document even includes screenshots from both Duels and Hex.

DreamPuppet
05-14-2014, 10:18 PM
Crypto could just split HEX into a separate entity, move all it's development and all the HEX servers to bangladesh, say a big FU to hasbro, US laws and to paying taxes just like all the online casinos and poker rooms...lol.

MatWith1T
05-14-2014, 10:21 PM
Crypto could just split HEX into a separate entity, move all it's development and all the HEX servers to bangladesh, say a big FU to hasbro, US laws and to paying taxes just like all the online casinos and poker rooms...lol.

Well they already did the first part… You might have noticed that the Hex website and game are now published by Hex Entertainment, LLC

Quasari
05-14-2014, 10:22 PM
DOTA and LOL is a totally different argument. That is like showing Doom and Halo and saying they are the same because they both are FPS. DOTA and LOL are both MOBAs and that would be the general lack of copyright protection on video games. Just like MtG can't shut down every card game ever, DOTA and LOL can't shut down each other or other MOBAs.

Look at the pictures in the complaint. The picture of Hex and DOTP look very similar--tapped cards, attack arcs, etc. From a trade dress perspective, I think they look very similar.
Is it though? How about HoN vs Dota? They are all derived from the same map, all feature 4 skill heroes, all have very similar uis. There as much the same as Hex is to MTG.

the_artic_one
05-14-2014, 10:23 PM
Hon and Dota is a unique case, S2 had permission from Icefrog to use map/hero designs from dota (there are rumors he was working for them directly before going to valve).

maniza
05-14-2014, 10:24 PM
DOTA and LOL is a totally different argument. That is like showing Doom and Halo and saying they are the same because they both are FPS. DOTA and LOL are both MOBAs and that would be the general lack of copyright protection on video games. Just like MtG can't shut down every card game ever, DOTA and LOL can't shut down each other or other MOBAs.

Look at the pictures in the complaint. The picture of Hex and DOTP look very similar--tapped cards, attack arcs, etc. From a trade dress perspective, I think they look very similar.

wrong its exactly desame thing hex is a digital tcg a that is a video game genere, duels of the plainswalkers is another digital tcg . just like dota and lol they have similar look, similar mechanics, gameplay and so on but they are not clones, they are not breaking any law. im shure there are even heroes that work in similar ways in both mobas. if we are talking hex vs duels of the plainswalkers or mtgo im certain the analogy aplays in every way.

Lonestar1771
05-14-2014, 10:25 PM
Might have been mentioned previously but what many posters are referring to (I think) is the physical version of games in the copyright law. When this game will likely fall under digital media.

Quasari
05-14-2014, 10:25 PM
Lol's map is derived from the same 3 lane map as them, it just streamlined gameplay a little bit.

Ghii_Zhar
05-14-2014, 10:25 PM
Every single backer of Hex needs to write an email to the following address: Hasbrobrandpr@hasbro.com

Let them know that this is a dick move and that we will boycott all Hasbro and WotC products if this suit isn't withdrawn. I know it's not really enough people to sway them, but if we get some publicity it could at least make them notice.

Thanks for the address. My message to Hasbro: "Your lawsuit against Cryptozoic/Hex has infuriated me enough to remove all your products from my PC and iPad. I will never again do business with your company.

MTG can/should be able to stand on its own merits. Hex is no more like MTG than WoW is to LOTRO (or any other MMORPG). Certain elements of these games are going to be similar because they are so obvious that any cretin would have been able to conceptualize them.

For example, all restaurants provide spoons with a bowl of soup. You don’t need a proprietary solution to determine the best way to eat soup. MTG is just another kind of soup in the world of TCGs. Let the consumer decide which flavor of soup they prefer, and if they like Hex flavor better than yours, don’t cry if they decide to eat it with a spoon!"

maniza
05-14-2014, 10:26 PM
Would it look similar to a ~50-60 y.o Judge who might not have seen anything like either before? That's what I worry about...

actualy to someone who has never played magic they look even more diferent, at least my mother seems to think so.
ps: she is also a lawyer

MatWith1T
05-14-2014, 10:29 PM
ps: she is also a lawyer

Damn… no way she's on the jury then :-P

GatticusFinch
05-14-2014, 10:29 PM
Is it though? How about HoN vs Dota? They are all derived from the same map, all feature 4 skill heroes, all have very similar uis. There as much the same as Hex is to MTG.

It is. You can't copyright an idea. The idea in this instance is a TCG and in the other a MOBA. What you can copyright is the execution of that idea.

For example, recipes are generally not copyrightable, they are just lists of ingredients, after all. However, you put them into a cookbook with descriptions, photographs, explanations, and suddenly you have a copyrightable book. Think of the barebones of the MOBA as the recipe, and think of DOTA and HON as the book the recipe is in, which is protectable

Quasari
05-14-2014, 10:32 PM
It is. You can't copyright an idea. The idea in this instance is a TCG and in the other a MOBA. What you can copyright is the execution of that idea.

For example, recipes are generally not copyrightable, they are just lists of ingredients, after all. However, you put them into a cookbook with descriptions, photographs, explanations, and suddenly you have a copyrightable book. Think of the barebones of the MOBA as the recipe, and think of DOTA and HON as the book the recipe is in, which is protectable

But with the flow of the game being so similar and the overall look being so similar, it's gotta be with Trade Dress, right? I mean, that's what Magic is arguing with that claim isn't it. That the game looks similar to their IP that it could be confused.

Who's to say that these elements aren't necessary for a digital tcg to work, the genre is forcing the similarities and what not.

chromus
05-14-2014, 10:34 PM
Wizards is aware that a large portion of their MTG/MTGO community that they have lost all on their own in one way or another (without needing Hex to even exist) were never to be regained. They most likely don't care about the negative publicity this suit might bring onto them as they assume the supporters of Hex are those very players that have already quit playing MTG at one point throughout its existence. I am not surprised at all that they are trying to crush the competition before it can lift off instead of trying to improve their own business model by actually listening to what the players want.

Pure and simple: Hex, along with Hearthstone, has the potential to drive them out of business (at the very least the MTGO side). They are scared and desperate. They've seen how much support Hex has gotten so far and how much bigger it will get once finished. I've got news for your Wizards: you are a failure. You have failed to innovate your game stubbornly and failed to provide a satisfactory online version of it although you have had 12 years!! yes 12!!! to get it right with MTGO. What did you expect really? Someone was always going to come along and properly supply the demand that has existed for so long. Someone is Hex. Hex is everything you are not....everything you have failed to become.

I'm going to continue purchasing from the Hex store and I strongly urge anyone else who wants to see Hex come out on top to do the same. I wish there was more we could do to help them fight it, financially or publicity-wise. Emailing Hasbro PR seems pretty underwhelming.... Any other suggestions?

Bloodiron
05-14-2014, 10:42 PM
Someone said trial by combat earlier...thought this was worth bring up.

1826

You may now proceed with the discussion.

halfwing
05-14-2014, 10:43 PM
People are putting way too much merit on this. Its not Hasbro getting scared. Hex really isn't something for them to worry about. Its barely a drop in the water compared to how much M:TG gets.

This whole thing is just tell Crypto "Hey. Our patent is still good for another 6 months. Gotta pay the license fees. You don't get off the hook just cause you aren't 'officially' released yet." The reason the whole thing is so half baked, is because WotC/Hasbro has no intention of this ever entering a courtroom. Its just to tell Crypto they are being serious about the fees.

The patent is unbelievably broad, and would actually be fairly easy to get over turned in court, and hasbro KNOWS this. However, their fees are relatively reasonable, all things considered, so its usually cheaper for people to just pay them than it is to pay the legal team to get it overturned.

Crypto was likely hoping to get away with skating by without needing to bother with this, because the patent is only good for a few more months. THAT is also probably the reason that Hasbro is pushing this. Its not because they are scared of Hex, its because they think Hex is just another TCG on the market that they can milk for the few months they have left, before they have to start relying on having an actually GOOD product instead of being able to get money from other companies games, like they do currently.

GatticusFinch
05-14-2014, 10:47 PM
But with the flow of the game being so similar and the overall look being so similar, it's gotta be with Trade Dress, right? I mean, that's what Magic is arguing with that claim isn't it. That the game looks similar to their IP that it could be confused.

Who's to say that these elements aren't necessary for a digital tcg to work, the genre is forcing the similarities and what not.

Think of tapping cards, moving them to the right at a 90 degree angle. What about that is necessary? Why not flip them over to the back? Upside down? To the left? That's pure design, not functional at all. It doesn't have to be that way. (side note: when CZE was asked why they kept it that way and they said "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," that was a very, very, very stupid thing to say) Same thing with the card targeting lines, deck and graveyard placement, etc. Those have no inherent meaning other than the secondary meaning acquired by players over the years. Be honest, whenever you see a card turned like that, you say it is tapped. That's distinctive and non-functional, and Magic invented that design.

You're conflating the idea or method for playing a game (which is not copyrightable) with the non-functional design decisions executing that idea (which can be given trademark protection). Remember, Blizzard and Valve did fight each other over the DOTA trademark, but no one ever said they couldn't make similar games.

Hasbro isn't suing Hex for making a TCG. They would lose that case immediately. They are suing them because they think the design elements in executing that TCG were lifted from MtG's design decisions.

This all applies only to the trade dress claim. The patent claim is a different beast.

maniza
05-14-2014, 10:48 PM
It is. You can't copyright an idea. The idea in this instance is a TCG and in the other a MOBA. What you can copyright is the execution of that idea.

For example, recipes are generally not copyrightable, they are just lists of ingredients, after all. However, you put them into a cookbook with descriptions, photographs, explanations, and suddenly you have a copyrightable book. Think of the barebones of the MOBA as the recipe, and think of DOTA and HON as the book the recipe is in, which is protectable

alrite fair enough but i feel that is kind of vague, im certain they cant copiright game mecanics, no mater how complex. so if a card just looks to similar they can just change it, or if the play mat or colors or card skins are the problem they can also change those. wouldent that solve the problem?

i feel that in order for a game to copy the "recipe" of another game they have to copy individual cards and how they work whitin a set otherwise they are just using similar mechanics.

GatticusFinch
05-14-2014, 10:51 PM
alrite fair enough but i feel that is kind of vague, im certain they cant copiright game mecanics, no mater how complex. so if a card just looks to similar they can just change it, or if the play mat or colors or card skins are the problem they can also change those. wouldent that solve the problem?

i feel that in order for a game to copy the "recipe" of another game they have to copy individual cards and how they work whitin a set otherwise they are just using similar mechanics.

Copyright =/= trademark or trade dress =/= patent.

What you feel =/= 200+ years of intellectual property jurisprudence.

Clay_B
05-14-2014, 10:52 PM
actualy to someone who has never played magic they look even more diferent, at least my mother seems to think so.
ps: she is also a lawyer

That's great to hear! I just worry when you're familiar with something it can be a bit easy to see what you want to see.

Passenheimer
05-14-2014, 10:53 PM
If there are any updates pls aupdate the OP. Thank you !

chromus
05-14-2014, 10:56 PM
It's foolish for them not to be scared. Small gaming companies are not to be underestimated (see: Riot). Do you think they have what it takes, with MTGO, to even try to compete with Hex? Once the majority of MTGO players shift to Hex, what's to stop their paper game to start shrinking? Sure, it has a good following now... but what about 3 years from now? 5 years? Their plan of pretty much doing nothing about improving their online game doesn't change or influence the world gaming community's expectations and demands...

Quasari
05-14-2014, 10:58 PM
Think of tapping cards, moving them to the right at a 90 degree angle. What about that is necessary? Why not flip them over to the back? Upside down? To the left? That's pure design, not functional at all. It doesn't have to be that way.
I agree, honestly as a digital tcg, they could easily gray out the card showing it's been exhausted.


Same thing with the card targeting lines
I disagree. Without someway to show the targets of the cards, there's no other way to have target-able cards. Lines are the most elegant solution, especially when multiple targets are involved.


, deck and graveyard placement, etc. Those have no inherent meaning other than the secondary meaning acquired by players over the years. Be honest, whenever you see a card turned like that, you say it is tapped. That's distinctive and non-functional, and Magic invented that design.
I'll agree that that's also an issue. However there are no rules in paper magic where the deck/graveyard goes. DotP, does have your deck to the right and your gy to the left of that, Hex is different placement, the opponents stuff is on the opposite side. Does this mean I can't have a game with a deck on the right side with a graveyard somewhere near it?

maniza
05-14-2014, 11:01 PM
Copyright =/= trademark or trade dress =/= patent.

What you feel =/= 200+ years of intellectual property jurisprudence.

im sorry for using the wrong terms, english is not my native language but what i am asking is if changing the interface and rules so that they are not so similar to magic would fix the problem? and if the fact that hex is a video game as oposed to a phisical good makes any diference?

GatticusFinch
05-14-2014, 11:02 PM
I disagree. Without someway to show the targets of the cards, there's no other way to have target-able cards. Lines are the most elegant solution, specially when multiple targets are involved.

What is elegance if not design? They could be color matched, paired next to each other, pushed up touching, etc. There is nothing functionally necessary about it, even if it is the best design solution.

Quasari
05-14-2014, 11:04 PM
What is elegance if not design? They could be color matched, paired next to each other, pushed up touching, etc. There is nothing functionally necessary about it, even if it is the best design solution.

What if other games used it prior?

L1ght
05-14-2014, 11:04 PM
So... $300.00 down the drain?

Gwaer
05-14-2014, 11:06 PM
One of the fundamental example of trade dress is a yellow firetruck. Someone could have a yellow firetruck first, and try to claim trade dress, but since you can see yellow in smoke better than red it has a functional use and therefore is not trade dress, the same is true for pink, or green, if there's an instance where it functionally makes sense to have that color trade dress is inapplicable. Targeting lines serve a definite function. It doesn't matter if there is a different way to do it. It's not purely a matter of the packaging or sales pitch, or consumer clarity.

Since no one has felt the need to explain what we're talking about. This is where trade dress protection comes from.

Under section 43(a) of the Lanham Act, a product's trade dress can be protected without formal registration with the PTO.[8] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade_dress#cite_note-8) In relevant part, section 43(a) states the following:
"Any person who, on or in connection with any goods or services, or any container for goods, uses in commerce any word, term, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof, or any false designation of origin, false or misleading description of fact, or false or misleading representation of fact, which(A) is likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive [...] as to the origin, sponsorship, or approval of his or her goods, services, or commercial activities by another person, or(B) in commercial advertising or promotion, misrepresents the nature, characteristics, qualities, or geographic origin of his or her or another person’s goods, services, or commercial activities,shall be liable in a civil action by any person who believes that he or she is likely to be damaged by such an act."[9] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade_dress#cite_note-9)This statute allows the owner of a particular trade dress ("container for goods") to sue an infringer (a person or entity who illegally copies that trade dress) for violating section 43(a) without registering that trade dress with any formal agency or system (unlike the registration and application requirements for enforcing other forms of intellectual property, such as patents). It is commonly seen as providing “federal common law” protection for trade dress (and trademarks)


It's basically a consumer protection statute, but a little more beefy in legal interpretation, and I really don't see it as a problem Hex, and MTG's trade dress are distinctive enough so that no one will buy Hex things thinking that it is somehow a hasbro or wotc property.

In addition to quote the exception bit about functionality

"To gain registration in the Principal Register or common law protection under the Lanham Act, a trade dress must not be “functional.” That is, the configuration of shapes, designs, colors, or materials that make up the trade dress in question must not serve a utility or function outside of creating recognition in the consumer’s mind."

Bells
05-14-2014, 11:16 PM
HEY!!

You guys wanna do something positive about this?

do you have twitter?

send a message of support and good faith to Cory at @coryhudsonjones

maniza
05-14-2014, 11:20 PM
yea i dont see any way they could win this, i was worried at first but the more i read the thing and ask unrelated people the less i worry.

ursa23
05-14-2014, 11:28 PM
It's important to remember that this isn't about winning a lawsuit. It's about throwing your weight around. It's simply standard business practice in America. WotC has as little interest as CZE in seeing this go to an actual courtroom. And I for one would be surprised if Cory et al did not know this was coming. I'm interested to see how the settlement works out.

bootlace
05-14-2014, 11:58 PM
Here's what I wrote to Hasbro:


I have been a fan and consumer of your MTG products for over a decade but your latest lawsuit of a new dTCG called Hex: Shards of Fate has turned me off from ever consuming any of your products ever again. The irony is that you are trying to kill a game that could very well take this genre to a broader audience and as a result help MTG as well.

By now it is clear for all that your implementation of Magic the Gathering Online is a colossal failure that will never develop into a product worthy of the loyalty and patience your player base has granted you (I'm one of the players from way back when you had leagues in MTGO, and the experience has only deteriorated since then). So instead of improving your own game you take refuge in attacking another game that has the ambition and ideas to take this genre to the next level.

Having read your lawsuit, it reeks of arrogance (assuming Kickstarter money would have gone into your pocket, inappropriately and deceivingly quoting Hex fan sites, erroneously trying to compare some in-game mechanics etc) - and it has made me sick to my stomach that I funded WotC and by extension Hasbro, a company so evil in their corporate strategy, all these years.

The game in question while it does share certain mechanics has a plethora of new and different gameplay elements that Wizards of the Coast have not, could not, and will not attempt to create. Over a decade of incompetence in this area, you will have to accept, has given us a clear picture of your inability or perhaps unwillingness to create a true nextgen digital TCG experience.

Hex was created and was funded on Kickstarter primarily because of a lack of supply and a great deal of demand for a nextgen dTCG. Please reconsider whether trying to kill an innovative game of this nature just because it pays some tribute to some aspects of your game is really a long term strategy worth fighting for.

PS: You can see a list of significant differences between Hex and MTG at this link: http://www.reddit.com/r/hextcg/comments/25lw2o/list_of_differences_between_hex_and_mtg/

Mike411
05-15-2014, 12:08 AM
One more thing wizards:


Further, by its sales through the Kickstarter campaign, Cryptozoic has obtained in excess of two million dollars, a sum that constitutes one of a number of losses of related revenues Wizards could reasonably have expected to earn

No chance in hell I would've spent the money I used on the hex kickstarter in that piece of crap you call magic online. The graphical style reminds me of The Oregon Trail. No wonder you had to design a new client from scratch - although most people don't even want to use the new one because it's super buggy and the only way to trade properly is a mess of third party bots that only work on the old client. Magic online is so horrible, thank god someone made something better.

Since you seem to like quoting this forum in legal proceedings, feel free to use this.

Alequel
05-15-2014, 12:11 AM
I am actually sad. Like I am the one being sued here, I cant believe I have already turned into a complete fanboy in such a short amount of time. As I and many other have said before, CZE if you need any financial support you dont need to look far away, ask for our help and we will be there for you.

Banquetto
05-15-2014, 12:20 AM
Well, I am a lawyer.

Knowing that makes your handle several hundred percent more awesome.

Jinxies
05-15-2014, 12:22 AM
*sigh* I really don't want to boycot magic :/ I enjoy the occational draft/mini master game at the game store I frequent (playing FFG card games and Malifaux). But this is just bullshit and I'd feel terrible for continuing to support a company like that :(

Ali3nSan
05-15-2014, 12:25 AM
It upsets me when larger companies throw their toys out of the cot because they still in the stone age. Seriously though CZE open a fund our lawyers pledge page if needed!

You are not alone in this fight and if you just say the words the community will rally behind you.

Kroan
05-15-2014, 12:33 AM
They actually have ground for a legal claim. They have had a buggy client for 12 years now, and now Hex comes along with their own buggy client. Didn't they know that's Wizards thing?

Cernz
05-15-2014, 12:44 AM
i am also a bit sad about this, hex is so much fun ... never played mtgo until now
(was a bit afraid due to the mass on cards - im quite new to tcgs) so playing hex
from the beginning gave me a good entrance in that type of games... dont want to
miss this in future.

and it doesnt matter if they win or not, it matters that they went to "court"...
this means it will take money - time and ressources to deal with that.

and this maybe interrupts the development and the cashflow of hex...
which is not good for a small company at all...

Miyordon
05-15-2014, 12:45 AM
They actually have ground for a legal claim. They have had a buggy client for 12 years now, and now Hex comes along with their own buggy client. Didn't they know that's Wizards thing?

HAHAHAHAHA I love the levity here. As an aside, Hexrex has said in chat that he is "Not (worried about) polishing up his resume anytime soon"
and then no further comment.

Aselith
05-15-2014, 12:47 AM
You're not exactly right about the copyright. People keep copying and pasting the same link thinking that copyright violations don't exist in video games. They do. Hasbro couldn't sue CZE for making a card game. That's just the general idea--platformers, fps, etc. However, within that there are copyrightable elements, which is what the lawsuit is addressing.

You're 100% wrong on the trade dress. The law is still somewhat unsettled on electronic interface trade dress, but it is certainly a cognizable legal theory. Their layout of the game and cards is non-functional and distinctive and, let's face it, Hex looks eerily similar. That looks like a prima facie trade dress claim to me.

About as similar as Hearthstone and WOW TCG and Pokemon and Yugioh etc etc. It's too broad. That seems very unlikely to pass inspection.

Aruken
05-15-2014, 12:52 AM
Thank god. Maybe now Cryptozoic will have to make HEX more like the WoWtcg (what it was, with quests and multiple combat phases, combat damage not resetting after each rounds etc).

There is hope.

Bloodslave
05-15-2014, 12:53 AM
@Gatticus - does the Words With Friends vs Scrabble thing set some kind of precedent?

Ginaz
05-15-2014, 12:57 AM
Unless they intend to drag this out and delay the release of Hex in hopes of out spending Cryptozoic on legal fees and bleeding Crypto dry, Hasbro/WotC don't have much of a case. Cryptozoic also made the WoW TCG, which was very similar to both Magic AND Hex, and WotC did nothing about it. A judge can look at that and say "Well, you did nothing in the past about it so don't come into court expecting relief now" with the legal term being estoppel. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estoppel

The reason they're acting now is because they are very worried that Hex is going to curb stomp them online. Magic's online version is an absolute piece of shit that hasn't been updated or improved in over 10 years and they haven't been inclined to do anything about it because "You'll play our shit pile of an online offering and you'll like it! What are you going to do? Where are you going to go?". Now that there is an option that is very much like Magic but with a much more modern and robust online game, WotC are worried.

All that aside, copyright law doesn't preclude someone else making a similar game based on similar principles.

"Once a game has been made public, nothing in the copyright law prevents others from developing another game based on similar principles. Copyright protects only the particular manner of an author’s expression in literary, artistic, or musical form.
Material prepared in connection with a game may be subject to copyright if it contains a sufficient amount of literary or pictorial expression. For example, the text matter describing the rules of the game or the pictorial matter appearing on the gameboard or container may be registrable."

http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl108.html

Most of the above info I got from members of my guild who know much more about this sort of thing than I do.

Chiany
05-15-2014, 01:01 AM
Maybe Gatticus (or someone else) can answer this.

What (if any) are the chances of this settling out of court? I know the article said WOTC tried to contact CZE, but I think this still could be settled out of court.

Wolfe
05-15-2014, 01:19 AM
In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, the step of executing a turn includes the step of tapping a mana card when it is used by turning the mana card approximately 90 degrees from an original position or orientation on a playing surface to thereby flag the card to all other players that the card is in use; and further including a step of untapping mana cards at the end of a turn by turning the mana card back to its original position to thereby unflag the card to all other players that the card is now available for use. Turning the card at other angles such as 30 degrees, 45 degrees, 60 degrees or other angle may also be done to flag a card. Flagging may also be accomplished by marking the card with nondestructive, removable markers or other similar method.

I guess that about covers it. Indicating that a card is used by turning it at any angle or marking it somehow. That's my favorite part so far. Also why are they talking about untapping mana cards at the end of a turn? Maybe they meant the beginning?

Kardh
05-15-2014, 01:37 AM
I'm all for laws preventing people for selling copies. I believe the brilliant people that develop brilliant products deserve to get payed for it.

But this just saddens me.

I tried playing MTG:O after having backed HEX but before the alpha. MTG:O was not fun. HEX is.

I wish that would be enough of an argument to dismiss the complaint.

And thanks GatticusFinch for some legal insights.

Oroniss
05-15-2014, 01:42 AM
I tried playing MTG:O after having backed HEX but before the alpha. MTG:O was not fun. HEX is.

I wish that would be enough of an argument to dismiss the complaint.

Ironically Kardh, I think this is actually the reason for the complaint.

I'm with you though that it's really sad they choose to try and take down the competitor rather than improve their own game to compete. I used to have a lot of respect for Wotc. No longer.

omghex
05-15-2014, 01:48 AM
I guess that about covers it. Indicating that a card is used by turning it at any angle or marking it somehow. That's my favorite part so far. Also why are they talking about untapping mana cards at the end of a turn? Maybe they meant the beginning?

That was specifically regarding mana cards. Which do not exist in Hex once the resource card is played. No mana card is ever tapped for mana in hex.

OutlandishMatt
05-15-2014, 01:48 AM
I thought I would pop on here for a minute and give a couple of my opinions, what with me apparently being sucked into this. I didn't find out I was involved until I left Cryptozoic's office, of which I had a scheduled visit for the past couple months. I'm not ashamed to admit I nearly started crying at the thought of hurting Cory Jones and the rest of Cryptozoic as I drove my co-host, Josh, home. Just like Cory, I wear my heart on my sleeve and it devastated me to think of my words being used against them. I cannot apologize enough for that but I will surely try.

I apologize to everyone. I think we've shown our support over the past year with our backing via Kickstarter and hosting the podcast but sometimes, things can drag you down. I just hope to keep my head above all of this but it's going to be really hard. Like Cory, I love the community and I hope everyone can see my good intentions.

hammer
05-15-2014, 01:53 AM
In my opinion this isn't about infringement (why not post kickstarter 10 months ago, why not post after alpha 7 months ago) this is about fearing the competition now that the threat to their bottom line is credible and formidable; plain and simple. HEX drafts are $7 and uber fun. MTGO cannot drop draft prices without cannibalising their paper game. The MTGO Beta Spotlight has been met with resistance and compliant. This is an attempt to stop the competition and to destabilize Hex and its future economy. I am very sad but not surprised, I quit playing MTGO way BEFORE the Hex kickstarter because I was feed-up with the contempt they show their player base. I was considering to buy vintage masters but there is no way this is happening now. I will be buying Platinum tonight and hope CZE resist / win this fight.

Kroan
05-15-2014, 01:59 AM
I thought I would pop on here for a minute and give a couple of my opinions, what with me apparently being sucked into this. I didn't find out I was involved until I left Cryptozoic's office, of which I had a scheduled visit for the past couple months. I'm not ashamed to admit I nearly started crying at the thought of hurting Cory Jones and the rest of Cryptozoic as I drove my co-host, Josh, home. Just like Cory, I wear my heart on my sleeve and it devastated me to think of my words being used against them. I cannot apologize enough for that but I will surely try.

I apologize to everyone. I think we've shown our support over the past year with our backing via Kickstarter and hosting the podcast but sometimes, things can drag you down. I just hope to keep my head above all of this but it's going to be really hard. Like Cory, I love the community and I hope everyone can see my good intentions.
Awh man. Now I feel bad. Noone is actually blaming you for anything of this, man. I was just kidding. Don't take it too hard, it's just lawyers twisting your words... It's like cersei twisting the truth to get her brother Tyrion convicted. It's not your fault man

bootlace
05-15-2014, 01:59 AM
Must read for the armchair lawyers in here:

http://www.gamedevelopment.com/view/feature/187385/clone_wars_the_five_most_.php?print=1

I think Hex will be fine if they change their UI abit and find another way to represent 'tapping'.

bojanglesz
05-15-2014, 02:00 AM
It was fun while it lasted.

FranzVonG
05-15-2014, 02:14 AM
Let's be honest, we have all seen this coming for a while and it has been a major factor behind Hex. It has always been what MTGO should be and it's not.

I'm confident that they can find an agreement, I just hope it will no be too hard on CZE

KnowingCrow
05-15-2014, 02:17 AM
Must read for the armchair lawyers in here:

http://www.gamedevelopment.com/view/feature/187385/clone_wars_the_five_most_.php?print=1

I think Hex will be fine if they change their UI abit and find another way to represent 'tapping'.
Actually Wizards sued WowTCG for their exhaust mechanic already and got no where with that, so I suspect that it'll get nowhere with Hex either. It's essentially trying to sue the same person for the same thing twice after failing the first time, specifically regarding the "exhaust" mechanic. You can't actually patent a game mechanic, so "tapping" is just a frivolous lawsuit that they throw around that only really sticks if it's completely identical (i.e., called "tapping").

Eierdotter
05-15-2014, 02:20 AM
Can I just note that it's all threshold's fault for making that blog post?

incoming: CZE sues Threshold Podcast for being quoted^^

Kardh
05-15-2014, 02:31 AM
Must read for the armchair lawyers in here:

http://www.gamedevelopment.com/view/feature/187385/clone_wars_the_five_most_.php?print=1

I think Hex will be fine if they change their UI abit and find another way to represent 'tapping'.

This section almost at the end of that article is scary though:

"The court did not consider what was different about the two games. It may come as a surprise to learn that whether a developer has added features or even made the game better in his "clone" is not relevant to copyright infringement.[17] For example, it was not relevant to the court that Yeti Town had added a "3D tilt" feature to its game. You cannot shield yourself from misappropriation liability by adding features and improving the game."

Galvayra
05-15-2014, 02:38 AM
Im freaking out here man, any chance they can move to china and not worry about this?

QuantumZeruul
05-15-2014, 02:48 AM
Here is a curious question for thought. How much does the venue where the suit was filed come into play in this instance? One of the most annoying things that I've seen in the legal system today is how companies shop around for just the right place to file their case to be most beneficial to them (depending on the type of suit), even if neither party resides or is headquartered in the area in question. For instance, for some reason East Texas is a popular place for people to file lawsuits for patent infringment claims, for various reasons (both claimed and legitimate I'm assuming).

Anssi
05-15-2014, 02:55 AM
I just kept reading the whole thread for more posts by Gannicus, but there weren't any more of them :(

If you compare any 2 tcg's, I'm pretty sure mtg and hex are the most similar ones.

Saqcat
05-15-2014, 02:56 AM
Must read for the armchair lawyers in here:

http://www.gamedevelopment.com/view/...t_.php?print=1

I think Hex will be fine if they change their UI abit and find another way to represent 'tapping'.

This part is curious:


Bloggers can make a difference. The court relied heavily on video game bloggers' reactions to Yeti Town, many of whom called the games similar and pointed out that it was obviously inspired by Triple Town. The court anointed bloggers to be quintessential "ordinary observers" and wrote that they had found the two games "substantially similar."

You know what you have to do if you want to help HEX.

KingxOfxThexVoid
05-15-2014, 03:21 AM
I'm not trolling, I'm just giving my opinion. I've been a Magic player for around 10 years now, and I'm a fan of a lot of other CCGs as well (Hearthstone, SolForge, Netrunner.) I'd have tried Hex as well, if it wasn't in closed beta.

I think Hex is similar to Magic in a very obvious and profound way. I don't know of any two other card games that are as similar to each other. The similarities are huge, and they are everywhere. You could theoretically put any Magic card into your Hex deck (doing the obvious translations: the fact that I don't even have to mention how to translate a Magic card into a Hex card kind of illustrates my point) and it would work without a hitch. You couldn't do that with SolForge or Hearthstone. Try putting a Netrunner card into your Magic deck, see where that gets you.

I'm sorry if this seems like trolling to you, but it's my honest opinion. I haven't posted on here before, because I saw little point in signing up to the forum of a game I can't play. But this lawsuit grabbed my interest.

Is it me or did this person just made a new account just now so he could support the crappy mtg that noone would spend money on anyway

chromus
05-15-2014, 03:25 AM
I would completely ignore any post made here by newly created accounts. They are most likely Wizards employees trying to affect the community's opinion on the matter.

DuroNL
05-15-2014, 03:32 AM
Oh, did you also see how they made a comment about the physical size of the cards? :)

Also it's interesting to note that one of our podcasters was outright mentioned in the lawsuit.

But seriously speaking, knowing how bad the copyright/patent system is in the US, this could be problematic imo.

Would the solution then lie in GameForge? move the "company" over to Germany? i'm thinking it is harder for a US company to sue a European company over US laws? if Hex was created based in "germany" ;) (the CZE people can just stay in the US ofcourse, i mean its the age of side branches and home workers :P)

GameForge might be able to make a bigger stand against Hasbro than CZE, perhaps this was also a reason to seek partnership with a large publisher.

in any case, its a lame thing to do, i mean focus on your paper cards and let the Digital TCG over to companies that actually know how to build digital games :P...

KingxOfxThexVoid
05-15-2014, 03:40 AM
Does it really look similar? They both have "cards", but even those are pretty different.

1824

1825

In all honesty I see a load of buttons on the left of the mtg that are confusing also the board of mtg looks crappy made out of squares and their art seems way old like its from the eighties or nineties

Hex has a nice board that is overseeable and has a nice look to it as well as the great art for their cards

LLCoolDave
05-15-2014, 03:46 AM
Am I the only person here that thinks Hasbro and WotC are well within their rights of defending their patent(s) in a case where they feel they are being infringed? That's the entire point of having patents and patent rights in the first place. I feel the issue lies elsewhere. The patent in question is so broad that I don't understand how it could have been granted in the first place. At first glance it seems that any card game that divides the card face into separate zones and involves physical manipulation of the cards to mark different states would be infringing large parts of it, which seems rather ridiculous to me. I'm also not sure that having a 20 year old patent about very generic card game designs and mechanism is a sensible thing to do, but that's how the law seems to work currently.

There's a sensible thought behind the patent system, namely to make sure that people that spend money, time and effort in development of new ideas and products are granted a time frame in which they have exclusivity on that product to regain the costs of development before competitors can join the same market with significantly lower research costs. I'm not particularly opposed to this idea, but the past 3-4 decades have clearly shown that our old ideals of patents and copyright are often in conflict with the fast paced modern automated and digital world. Not enough effort has been put in keeping these laws in line with the values we put on things and ideas today, as illustrated with some of these patent cases, the concept of software patents as a whole and the entire entertainment industry vs piracy fight in all its ridiculously overblown glory at times.

In its current state, Hex very much resembles a custom MtG set that makes some more use of the digital nature and with some mechanics renamed. It might and will set itself apart further as time goes on, but I'm not sure either of these things even matter in this particular case anyway.

Ashenai
05-15-2014, 03:50 AM
I would completely ignore any post made here by newly created accounts. They are most likely Wizards employees trying to affect the community's opinion on the matter.

Don't be ridiculous. I'm just a guy who plays a lot of Magic (google ashenai magic if you want), and I heard about Hex being sued on a Magic message board. I made an account here because I remembered hearing about the Hex kickstarter, and I was curious what you guys thought of the issue. I can't imagine a Wizards employee would possibly care what you guys think of this. Obviously you guys are going to be on cryptozoic's side; you're invested in the game, both emotionally and financially. It only makes sense that you'd want what's best for Hex, and you wouldn't care what's best for Magic.

I dunno anything about copyright/trademark law either, and I was hoping some of you might have some useful information. And some of you did! I feel like I learned a lot.

Rapkannibale
05-15-2014, 03:51 AM
Any copyright lawyers on here? AFAIK game mechanics cannot be copyrighted. Otherwise people could copyright things like "roll 6 sided dice". They can (and have) copyright terms like "tapping" but Hex isn't using that term. I'm still a bit worried but we will see.

hexinggems
05-15-2014, 04:13 AM
In all honesty I see a load of buttons on the left of the mtg that are confusing also the board of mtg looks crappy made out of squares and their art seems way old like its from the eighties or nineties

Hex has a nice board that is overseeable and has a nice look to it as well as the great art for their cards

The lawsuit used the Duels of the Planswalkers interface as a comparison, which is alot more similar to Hex

Cernz
05-15-2014, 04:23 AM
cze should have been aware of this situation, i hope this was expected to happen
- they hopefully have evaluated this case before, so... maybe they are prepared.

an official statement from cze would be very welcome, just to calm the comunity down.

Turtlewing
05-15-2014, 04:43 AM
Any copyright lawyers on here? AFAIK game mechanics cannot be copyrighted. Otherwise people could copyright things like "roll 6 sided dice". They can (and have) copyright terms like "tapping" but Hex isn't using that term. I'm still a bit worried but we will see.

Not a lawyer but an uncle of mine is an IP lawyer and gave me a rundown on stuff when I was looking into publishing some games in High school.

As I recall it goes like this:

Game mechanics are a method for playing a game, and can be patented. A patent has to be applied for and granted, can be contested if someone else was using the method before you, and will expire. Others can also patent improvements to your patent and you'll need to license those improvements to use them (tends to result in cross licensing since they need to license your patent to use their improvement). Most companies don't patent their game mechanics because patents are expensive and few games have mechanics that are worth the cost.

Copyright covers "creative works" things like the text of your rulebook, artwork, and any game fiction. You don't have to apply for copyright you juts get it by virtue of publishing (applying helps you establish a date which can be important). Copyright technically expires but not until 70 years after the death of the crater so in practical terms it doesn't expire. This is probably the easiest thing to get sued over if your game is similar to another because if you lift any text from the other game's rulebook you've infringed.

Trademark covers things like names, and logos. You have to register the trademark, and it only applies in a limited context. You also have to actively defend it, and periodically renew it.

AstaSyneri
05-15-2014, 04:52 AM
Am I the only person here that thinks Hasbro and WotC are well within their rights of defending their patent(s) in a case where they feel they are being infringed? That's the entire point of having patents and patent rights in the first place.

From the layman's point of view there is a difference between blatantly ripping of somebody else's original work - for example printing your own version of a Monopoly game, just calling it Monogamy or creating a game that gives you all sorts of added components and mechanics (including girl friends, concubines, etc.) and calling it Monogamy ;-).

Hex in my eyes takes the very basic TCG and expands it hundred-fold, making it cheaper to boot. It may look like a Rolex and also tell you time, but it's more accurate, space proof - and you can play games on it.

And I want that new luxury watch, for its added functions and I don't care about the Rolex.

Warrender
05-15-2014, 04:56 AM
Obviously, CZE thinks it can win the fight or they would've paid off WoTC when they were first approached.

I sincerely hope the ruling does not affect the development of this game. It would be an epic tragedy. It would be like if Riot was sued by the creators of Heroes of Newerth and they had to shut production down before LoL was released.

mmac900
05-15-2014, 05:04 AM
Don't be ridiculous. I'm just a guy who plays a lot of Magic (google ashenai magic if you want), and I heard about Hex being sued on a Magic message board. I made an account here because I remembered hearing about the Hex kickstarter, and I was curious what you guys thought of the issue. I can't imagine a Wizards employee would possibly care what you guys think of this. Obviously you guys are going to be on cryptozoic's side; you're invested in the game, both emotionally and financially. It only makes sense that you'd want what's best for Hex, and you wouldn't care what's best for Magic.

I dunno anything about copyright/trademark law either, and I was hoping some of you might have some useful information. And some of you did! I feel like I learned a lot.

Of course we don't care whats best for magic because magic doesn't care whats best for its customers by ripping us off in every way imaginable, especially us international guys who pay more simply because they dont use $, as well as having sub par software.

Warrender
05-15-2014, 05:12 AM
Don't be ridiculous. I'm just a guy who plays a lot of Magic (google ashenai magic if you want), and I heard about Hex being sued on a Magic message board. I made an account here because I remembered hearing about the Hex kickstarter, and I was curious what you guys thought of the issue. I can't imagine a Wizards employee would possibly care what you guys think of this. Obviously you guys are going to be on cryptozoic's side; you're invested in the game, both emotionally and financially. It only makes sense that you'd want what's best for Hex, and you wouldn't care what's best for Magic.

I dunno anything about copyright/trademark law either, and I was hoping some of you might have some useful information. And some of you did! I feel like I learned a lot.

Here's the deal then. Hex has the potential to be better than MTG - not MTGO - MTG itself. WoTC is scared of that possibility; hence the lawsuit.

Morgaln
05-15-2014, 05:14 AM
Okay, after reading the lawsuit and some comments here and on other forums/places, here's my take on the matter:
I understand what Gatticus and some other people with experience with the law are saying, but I can't help but think about this from a video gaming perspective. I'm a PC gamer first, TCG player second. Literally every major videogame genre has VERY similar layouts and design philosophy. If a game has a mini-map, 90% of the time it would go on the top right corner. Why? There is no real reason, as Gatticus says it's just what people are accustomed too. All major FPS games have the same kind of "table" when pressing the Tab key. Name of player, kills, deaths, points. Again, no real reason to do it on that order - games stick to a formula that works. Are we also going to sue games for having the same basic keybinding layout?

When I first came upon Hex, my first thought was "Well, this is MTG 2.0, PLUS it's an MMO". Most PC gamers are now used to to games feeling and looking the same, as long as they offer a slightly different experience (a better one). I can see from more boardgame-focused sites that were linked in this thread previously that a lot of people are calling HEX a "Chinese rip-off". People seem to forget this is a digital game and the whole design dress of the game should matter, not just the way it's similar. The code is different since CZE didn't just steal code from WoTC, and that's what matters.

This is my opinion of experience with lawsuits in PC games - the only ones I know of that succeeded were in cases of copyright infringement - copying names, story, etc. This of course could all be completely wrong, please respond if you disagree.

Thanks.

Morgaln
05-15-2014, 05:21 AM
Also, I'm linking this from the subreddit for Hex since I don't think it was linked before: http://www.gamedevelopment.com/view/feature/187385/clone_wars_the_five_most_.php?print=1

Axle
05-15-2014, 05:22 AM
50 bucks the card "Murder" is going to be used to try and help their case in a slide

edit: oh they already did rofl

Bells
05-15-2014, 05:23 AM
The thing that is causing the largest harm to Hex RIGHT NOW is it's own community. panicky people freaking out like headless chickens. Creating an awful atmosphere to make anybody looking from outside in, making new players weary of approaching Hex, being cagey and defensive....

Please, stop this.

Wait to understand the facts. stop pretending you know two shits of what is going on right now...

Turtlewing
05-15-2014, 05:28 AM
Am I the only person here that thinks Hasbro and WotC are well within their rights of defending their patent(s) in a case where they feel they are being infringed?

No I think they're within their rights to.

Mostly I'm just surprised that all the other TCGs didn't get sued. And in light of Wizards (as far as I know) ignoring those other games I think it's a bit of a dick move to single out Hex.

In practical terms It looks like Hex was written to avoid infringing on Magic's IP. They renamed all the keywords, games zones and resources (even things like the "stack" which is a reference to a mathematical concept). The World of Hex bares almost no resemblance to the Magic Lore beyond including humans, elves, and orcs, and that's more a Tolkien throwback than something Magic started.

That said, it's bloody obvious that Hex inherits the bulk of it's mechanics from Magic. But they also extended those mechanics in a way Magic is unlikely to ever mimic (digital only), and they have also made a number of alterations/innovations like the resource system and how Crush interacts with effects that prevent or replace damage that add up to a game which is practically fairly different.

Dynimix
05-15-2014, 05:29 AM
The real surprise, Wizards have not gone after Blizzard yet. While the game has various tweaks to the concept to make it slightly more accessible, they also mimic a large portion of the MTG mechanics....

Bells
05-15-2014, 05:38 AM
WoTC won't win this, simply because Hex has enough alterations and innovations to be consider it's own unique product in a way that cannot be replicated by MTG. You can insert bits and pieces of Hex IN MTG... that is also true to most TCG's, but you CANNOT insert the whole game. That is key.

What bothers me more and the most is the attitude of the community, in a way that we are harming our own community and environment. By portraying Hex in a poor light to the outside world and media in a way to let it be branded as a ''clone'' and ourselves as ''fanboys''.

Please understand this and have a lick of consciousness of what you post. Right now HEX is in evidence for a bad reason, what we do or say matters on how the game gets known going forward. You might think this is not important, but for Hex in it's current stage it is the MOST IMPORTANT thing we as a community can do...

3-4 years down the line, we want new players to come in because tey heard that Hex is pretty fun and unique and well designed not because ''Oh isn't that game that got sued for being a MTG clone?'' that HAPPENS. Social branding is a thing. and it's much more reliant on how WE handle the news than the news itself.

Pay mind to what you do or say and help turn this around. We don't need Hex to be compared to MTG all the time, we can show it is it's own thing. Nobody is denying it's roots.... most TCG's could not deny having the SAME roots... But instead of Fanboyish stupid drivel of ''The difference is that Hex is soooooooo much cooler'' we can simply show that the game has a unique proposal and it's building blocks are original ,even if the core materials are very similar...

This is MUCH more important right now than what we currently have here of mudslinging all around and people trying to read minds and predict the future... stop that.

Axle
05-15-2014, 05:41 AM
Don't be ridiculous. I'm just a guy who plays a lot of Magic (google ashenai magic if you want), and I heard about Hex being sued on a Magic message board. I made an account here because I remembered hearing about the Hex kickstarter, and I was curious what you guys thought of the issue. I can't imagine a Wizards employee would possibly care what you guys think of this. Obviously you guys are going to be on cryptozoic's side; you're invested in the game, both emotionally and financially. It only makes sense that you'd want what's best for Hex, and you wouldn't care what's best for Magic.

I dunno anything about copyright/trademark law either, and I was hoping some of you might have some useful information. And some of you did! I feel like I learned a lot.

You serious? They obviously care and read this thread by the fact that they used posts on this very forum and by the community comparing the two to help create their case. Which all gets cancelled by posts that praise the differences in HEX and talks down to MTG but no one will see that now will they? Hooray for being selective.

Flight
05-15-2014, 05:43 AM
WoTC won't win this, simply because Hex has enough alterations and innovations to be consider it's own unique product in a way that cannot be replicated by MTG. You can insert bits and pieces of Hex IN MTG... that is also true to most TCG's, but you CANNOT insert the whole game. That is key.


If you copy something but add to it you still have to pay a license. WotC are one of the most litigious companies out there and the only company to ever 'beat' them did so on the basis of adding to MtGs ideas - that was YuGiOh by Konami.

Now I say 'beat' because even though Konami succeeded in their argument that they had added to MtGs ideas Konami still ended up having to pay WotC a license.


Which do you think is more like MtG - YuGiOh or Hex ?


Significant issues - MtG patents expire next year. The copyrights held for MtG don't actually cover that much. This case will largely come down to Trade Dress. Crypto can come out of this with some wins but i) they are looking at making significant changes across the board, and ii) legal fees are going to be big.



WotC will go all in on this - they won't back down. My theory is they will actually attempt to buy out Cryptozoic. They've done this before (eg when they went after Lot5R). They'll make an offer in the immediate future once the realities of how much each company is looking at in legal fees starts to sink in.

Axle
05-15-2014, 05:45 AM
They went after Yugioh too? Holyshit they're greedy fucks. Games could not be any more different.

Kroan
05-15-2014, 05:48 AM
I can't find anything about a lawsuit by WotC against Yu-Gi-Oh!

frychikn
05-15-2014, 05:58 AM
I have never, ever heard "shard screwed" - but I have heard mana screwed lots of times.

I think people are letting their love of Hex get in the way of honestly evaluating the similarities. Gin Rummy? Give me a break.

indeed. its hard for me to even call the shards by their name. i just call them the color they are.

you can love this game, but come on, lets be rational here.

ossuary
05-15-2014, 06:00 AM
Here's an interesting quote from the clone wars article, as part of the judgement in Capcom vs. Data East (Street Fighter 2, Fighter's History):


What the Street Fighter case demonstrates is that even if a defendant creates a game that is incredibly similar to another very popular, antecedent game, that defendant can help avoid copyright infringement if it has already established an earlier practice of creating games in that genre.

The fact that CZE has been making dozens of paper card games for years may actually prove to be a very valuable argument in their defense. They have dozens of CCG / TCG games under their belt, so the differences in mechanics, appearance, lore, and whatnot combined with that may be more than enough to protect them from losing the case.

That doesn't mean it's not going to be horribly expensive to fight for their rights, though... which is, of course, the point. This is a bullying tactic by WotC / Hasbro, a giant company that has been resting on their laurels for far too long and letting their own product become stagnant. They see Hex and what it represents for the future as a threat to their business, so whether or not their claims are substantive enough, they are lashing out to put pressure on CZE.

mach
05-15-2014, 06:01 AM
Mostly I'm just surprised that all the other TCGs didn't get sued. And in light of Wizards (as far as I know) ignoring those other games I think it's a bit of a dick move to single out Hex.



The real surprise, Wizards have not gone after Blizzard yet. While the game has various tweaks to the concept to make it slightly more accessible, they also mimic a large portion of the MTG mechanics....

The reason they're suing CZE and not Blizzard or all of the other TCG makers is likely because Hex is so much closer to MTG than the other games. Let's look at the specific "copied elements" mentioned in the lawsuit and see which apply to Hearthstone:

20 starting life Nope. HS has 30.
Win - remove all life or opponent out of cards: Only partially. Drawing from an empty deck does not cause you to lose in HS.
Tapping: Does not exist in HS.
Untapping cards: No tapping, so again no.
Creatures feature power and toughness and damage resets each turn: Damage in HS is permanent.
5 colors: Nope, HS has 9 classes, which function differently from colors.
Colorless (artifact) spells and creatures: HS has neutral creatures (which aren't flavorfully artifacts), but no neutral spells.
7 card starting hand: Nope, 3 for player going first, 4 for player going second.
Draw 1 card per turn: Yup.
Maximum hand size of 7: HS uses 10, and it functions differently.
Allowed to play one resource per turn (1 mana card): HS doesn't have mana cards. Resources are automatically added rather than played.
Combat (Attacking and choosing blockers): HS's combat system is very different and is missing the choosing blockers part.
FILO Stack: Nope
Card types and effectS: HS shares creature and Sorcery, adds weapon, and removes the rest.
Rarity: 5 rarities (Basic, Common, Rare, Epic, Legendary) rather than 4.
Booster Pack distribution: Completely different, other than both guarantee a rare or higher.
Turn structure: completely different.
Land cards: nope
Deck referred to as "Library": nope
Discard pile referred to as "graveyard": nope
Deck size of 60 cards: HS uses 30.
Maximum of 4 of a card in a deck: 2 for HS, or 1 for Legendaries.
Mulligan rule: different
Summoning sickness: yup
Keywords: Of the ones listed, only 1 has a direct equivalent (Haste=charge)

So of that long list of "copied elements" there are only 2 (draw a card each turn and summoning sickness) which HS does as well. A few more have some similarity and most are completely different in Hearthstone. If you want, feel free to try this exercise for other games.

This is why Hasbro is suing CZE and not the makers of other games. Unlike other games, they think Hex is close enough that they can convince a jury.

Axle
05-15-2014, 06:01 AM
No. If Wizards wins this lawsuit against CZE then Capcom should be suing every single fighting game that comes out for looking similar to Street Fighter.
-They took the health bar!
0They took meter!
-They took our combos!
They took our rushdown character!
They even use the term rushdown!
They stole our 6 button attack inputs!
They stole dashing!
They use online play in their games!
They have ranking for their online games!
THEY HAVE HEALTH BARS!!!


It's just bullying the little guy. You can't copyright mechanics.

Flight
05-15-2014, 06:03 AM
I can't find anything about a lawsuit by WotC against Yu-Gi-Oh!


It related to Patent 6,398,651 which Konami achieved by showing that they went beyond and built upon Wizard's Patent 5,662,332

Significant that improvement patents need a license so Konami will have to have come to undisclosed agreements with WotC to use it.


There was the other slightly farcical one where Konami were forced to remove the word 'magic' from their cards but that was quite disparate.

Axle
05-15-2014, 06:04 AM
http://www.joystiq.com/2013/03/22/kaiju-combat-kickstarter-on-hold-over-wizards-of-the-coast-trade/

Here's a great example of Wizards bullying. They'll take anything they can get. It was sued because "Kaiju" similar to "Kaijudo" in it's name when Kaiju is a japanese term for "Strange Creature". Seriously. It was that sad.

Bells
05-15-2014, 06:06 AM
WotC will go all in on this - they won't back down. My theory is they will actually attempt to buy out Cryptozoic. They've done this before (eg when they went after Lot5R). They'll make an offer in the immediate future once the realities of how much each company is looking at in legal fees starts to sink in.

Absorb to not compete.

I would not be surprised if this was a reality... ''either bleed out fighting us, or let us buy you. Your game lives, you get a ton of money we would waste on legal fees, your fans get their game'' when you think about it... that is corporate as shit.


Thing is... if WoTC buys Hex, for the players here.... would be the same as the game shutting down...

Morgaln
05-15-2014, 06:07 AM
The reason they're suing CZE and not Blizzard or all of the other TCG makers is likely because Hex is so much closer to MTG than the other games.

...

This is why Hasbro is suing CZE and not the makers of other games. Unlike other games, they think Hex is close enough that they can convince a jury.

Anyone that doesn't think the similarities are significant is delusional. The whole case I think boils down to: Is the "gameplay" formula including the major additions (double-backs, gems, permanent buffs, digital mechanics, heroes, charges, etc etc)? If those can be excluded, I'm afraid CZE is in trouble.

Axle
05-15-2014, 06:10 AM
Wouldn't it be great if every single time a new FPS or fighting game came out there was a lawsuit because of the minimap or because of health bars?

mach
05-15-2014, 06:18 AM
Absorb to not compete.

I would not be surprised if this was a reality... ''either bleed out fighting us, or let us buy you. Your game lives, you get a ton of money we would waste on legal fees, your fans get their game'' when you think about it... that is corporate as shit.


Thing is... if WoTC buys Hex, for the players here.... would be the same as the game shutting down...

Not quite. Many people are here at least in part because MTGO's client stinks. If Hasbro were to buy Hex, kill the actual game, and turn the software assets into the next-gen MTGO client, that would at least be a silver lining.

It wouldn't surprise me if that was the deal they offered CZE.


Anyone that doesn't think the similarities are significant is delusional. The whole case I think boils down to: Is the "gameplay" formula including the major additions (double-backs, gems, permanent buffs, digital mechanics, heroes, charges, etc etc)? If those can be excluded, I'm afraid CZE is in trouble.

IANAL, but I think the similarities are far more important than the differences. Analogy: Suppose you publish a 10-chapter book. I take those 10 chapters, add 20 completely original ones, and sell the 30-chapter book as my own. I'm pretty sure you'd win your lawsuit against me.

Bells
05-15-2014, 06:19 AM
Anyone that doesn't think the similarities are significant is delusional. The whole case I think boils down to: Is the "gameplay" formula including the major additions (double-backs, gems, permanent buffs, digital mechanics, heroes, charges, etc etc)? If those can be excluded, I'm afraid CZE is in trouble.

If you exclude the unique gameplay mechanics of a TCG, they all eventually become solitaire.

You cannot analyse Hex and simply cherry pick the elements that deserve scrutiny. Hex is not a variation of MTG, it's a unique proposal and set of mechanics with a similar ground root. Nobody ever denied that. But there are enough differences.



IANAL, but I think the similarities are far more important than the differences. Analogy: Suppose you publish a 10-chapter book. I take those 10 chapters, add 20 completely original ones, and sell the 30-chapter book as my own. I'm pretty sure you'd win your lawsuit against me.

But if i take your Harry potter and Make it into Percy Jackson, you would never win that lawsuit.

Morgaln
05-15-2014, 06:23 AM
IANAL, but I think the similarities are far more important than the differences. Analogy: Suppose you publish a 10-chapter book. I take those 10 chapters, add 20 completely original ones, and sell the 30-chapter book as my own. I'm pretty sure you'd win your lawsuit against me.

Yeah now that I've read a couple of more law-focused articles, I think I agree. We should wait for CZE's statement regardless.

Axle
05-15-2014, 06:28 AM
Books aren't video games and they have different laws. Not to mention copying books would be closer to copying art in this case, except there is no copied art and the claim of HEX copying their lore is absolute bullshit.

Mahes
05-15-2014, 06:29 AM
There is a bright side to all this. Many Magic players had no idea that Hex existed.


They do now......

mach
05-15-2014, 06:30 AM
There is a bright side to all this. Many Magic players had no idea that Hex existed.


They do now......

Yes, but from what I hear not a single one has bought into the Hex beta for some reason. :)

Cernz
05-15-2014, 06:30 AM
cze should open an extra slaker backer for mtgo players ;)

Hieronymous
05-15-2014, 06:33 AM
The reason they're suing CZE and not Blizzard or all of the other TCG makers is likely because Hex is so much closer to MTG than the other games. Let's look at the specific "copied elements" mentioned in the lawsuit and see which apply to Hearthstone:
. . . .
This is why Hasbro is suing CZE and not the makers of other games. Unlike other games, they think Hex is close enough that they can convince a jury.


Eh, more like they know they can't bankrupt and forcibly buy out Blizzard.

As to the substance of the similarities, there's a good article here that may have already been posted:http://www.gamedevelopment.com/view/feature/187385/clone_wars_the_five_most_.php?print=1

Just going by that article, it looks like Hasbro would have to show that Hex is so similar to MTG that a prospective buyer would get confused and think he was buying MTG when he wasn't. Hex can be a knockoff, that's allowed under copyright law (think about it; if it weren't, the only fantasy novel would be the Lord of the Rings and the only FPS would be Doom). What it can't be is a clone so precise as to be deceptive. And Hex is dissimilar enough to be pretty safe from that, though a judge or jury can always get confused.

Is Hasbro actually asking for a jury trial? That seems odd.

Bells
05-15-2014, 06:37 AM
Yes, but from what I hear not a single one has bought into the Hex beta for some reason. :)

Maybe because instead of talking about the unique things Hex is proposing and how Crypt has been so close and so active with it's community, we spend most of our time shittalking the still-in-development-game and comparing it towards MTG while shouting snarky comments on how this indie thing that is super indie is so much better than the super huge mega million dollar corporation...

Real MTG players who haven't learn of Hex before, come here today and they see us as snarky hipsters hyping a fad... would YOU buy into that Beta? i Wouldn't.

But i know Hex is more and better than that... i just hope the community care a lick about it in order to actually show that to the outside world looking at us now... first impressions matter in online games...

Axle
05-15-2014, 06:39 AM
Eh, more like they know they can't bankrupt and forcibly buy out Blizzard.

As to the substance of the similarities, there's a good article here that may have already been posted:http://www.gamedevelopment.com/view/feature/187385/clone_wars_the_five_most_.php?print=1

Just going by that article, it looks like Hasbro would have to show that Hex is so similar to MTG that a prospective buyer would get confused and think he was buying MTG when he wasn't. Hex can be a knockoff, that's allowed under copyright law (think about it; if it weren't, the only fantasy novel would be the Lord of the Rings and the only FPS would be Doom). What it can't be is a clone so precise as to be deceptive. And Hex is dissimilar enough to be pretty safe from that, though a judge or jury can always get confused.

Is Hasbro actually asking for a jury trial? That seems odd.

And no one would ever be able to be confused when trying to buy HEX product thinking it was MTG product because you cannot get the game without going to HEXTCG.com and it is not available in any retailer.

Bells
05-15-2014, 06:40 AM
And no one would ever be able to be confused when trying to buy HEX product thinking it was MTG product because you cannot get the game without going to HEXTCG.com and it is not available in any retailer.

That's... not how that argument works dude...

But yeah, for other reasons... it is not reasonable to think a player could buy Hex thinking it was MTG or the other way around.

Kami
05-15-2014, 06:41 AM
There is a bright side to all this. Many Magic players had no idea that Hex existed.


They do now......

Currently, until CZE issues a statement (and it will likely be very brief or to the point), this situation is win-win-win for WotC/Hasbro no matter the outcome:

1. They put legal and financial burden on CZE.
2. They cheapen the image of CZE and the game HEX.
3. They can play the victim to any/all that have not followed HEX because people will not have the patience to look into depth.

Axle
05-15-2014, 06:42 AM
It is. There is zero way to buy platinum without looking at a billion signs that HEX is a different game.

Hieronymous
05-15-2014, 06:45 AM
Currently, until CZE issues a statement (and it will likely be very brief or to the point), this situation is win-win-win for WotC/Hasbro no matter the outcome:

1. They put legal and financial burden on CZE.
2. They cheapen the image of CZE and the game HEX.
3. They can play the victim to any/all that have not followed HEX because people will not have the patience to look into depth.


There's a downside here too which Hasbro may not have fully anticipated, which is that they're going to look like a patent troll and bully and are going to royally piss off many or most of the Hex kickstarter backers. They may not care about that or figure they can shrug it off, and honestly they're probably right, but there is a downside.


And no one would ever be able to be confused when trying to buy HEX product thinking it was MTG product because you cannot get the game without going to HEXTCG.com and it is not available in any retailer.

More importantly anyone who's played magic is going to look at a hex card and think:


"Wow, that looks a lot like magic."

In other words, they'll instantly realize that it isn't a M:TG card. None of the MTG symbols or rules language are there. To a TCG player, sure, one's a knockoff, but they're clearly not the same game, and that's what matters.

mach
05-15-2014, 06:47 AM
It is. There is zero way to buy platinum without looking at a billion signs that HEX is a different game.

IANAL, but I don't think that's sufficient. If it were you could get away with clones of anything just by sticking a brightly-colored "This isn't the real thing" sticker on it.

Bells
05-15-2014, 06:48 AM
There's a downside here too which Hasbro may not have fully anticipated, which is that they're going to look like a patent troll and bully and are going to royally piss off many or most of the Hex kickstarter backers. They may not care about that or figure they can shrug it off, and honestly they're probably right, but there is a downside.

Objectively, that is hardly a drop in the bucket for them.

fido_one
05-15-2014, 06:50 AM
Currently, until CZE issues a statement (and it will likely be very brief or to the point), this situation is win-win-win for WotC/Hasbro no matter the outcome:

1. They put legal and financial burden on CZE.
2. They cheapen the image of CZE and the game HEX.
3. They can play the victim to any/all that have not followed HEX because people will not have the patience to look into depth.

We're on page 37 in less than 18 hours. CZE needs to say something and they need to say something quick. I don't care if it doesn't have much substance - we'll whip ourselves into a frenzy so fast it'll do some damage.

There are so many points on this thread and it's so dense I'm wondering if anyone can highlight some stuff.

Axle
05-15-2014, 06:51 AM
IANAL, but I don't think that's sufficient. If it were you could get away with clones of anything just by sticking a brightly-colored "This isn't the real thing" sticker on it.

Good thing this is as much a clone as a new IP fighting game, RPG or first person shooter is to the original creators of the genre.

ThomasHunter
05-15-2014, 06:53 AM
@Gatticus - here's a curious question/issue:

Would the word "tapping" be similar to making a "xerox" with my HP printer or asking my wife for a "kleenex" even though we buy puffs? In other words, since MTG was the FIRST of its class of games, won't things be known how they named them - maybe forever*?

Does this argument even matter? I think the word "mana" is also similar to "tapping". It's what folks are familiar with.

Thanks for any further insights!
Taleisin

*Forever isn't obviously "forever", but it can be a LONG time!

Kami
05-15-2014, 06:53 AM
There's a downside here too which Hasbro may not have fully anticipated, which is that they're going to look like a patent troll and bully and are going to royally piss off many or most of the Hex kickstarter backers. They may not care about that or figure they can shrug it off, and honestly they're probably right, but there is a downside.

They don't care about the HEX backers. Their goal is to make people who would be potentially go: "Oh wow, HEX is awesome." turn to "Oh, HEX? Why would I play a cheap rip-off?".

You can already see it on several forums, the fallout that's happening.

The problem is that HEX isn't a cheap rip-off. I'd be hesitant to even call it a rip-off to any degree because I have played the game in its current state - and its not even close to final. You start looking more into Set 2 for example and it starts to differentiate itself even further.

It's safe to say it'd be pretty hard to mistake HEX for Magic and vice-versa. The issue is that many newcomers are only glancing at the superficial stuff that's similar (not same) and ignoring everything else.

What WotC/Hasbro wants is consumer tunnel-vision. They want the populace to accept mediocrity instead of rising up to meet the challenger.

Poetic
05-15-2014, 06:54 AM
I'm not going to stress this. Just going to keep enjoying the game. I'm assuming CZE knows what they're doing.

Designordie
05-15-2014, 06:59 AM
We're on page 37 in less than 18 hours. CZE needs to say something and they need to say something quick. I don't care if it doesn't have much substance - we'll whip ourselves into a frenzy so fast it'll do some damage.

There are so many points on this thread and it's so dense I'm wondering if anyone can highlight some stuff.

Commenting on an active lawsuit is the worst thing they can do. We should see nothing beyond a canned statement that has been vetted by their lawyers.

If we see anything more than that, start trying to sell your account now because Crypto's lost the plot.

ShipItScholar
05-15-2014, 07:01 AM
I'm a long time MtG Player that has had an eye on HexTcg for a while now and this lawsuit really pushed me over the brink. If this is how WotC as a company deals with competetion then I'm not going to support them anymore.

Is there a way to start supporting Hex right now or will I have to wait for the Open Beta for that?

fido_one
05-15-2014, 07:06 AM
Commenting on an active lawsuit is the worst thing they can do. We should see nothing beyond a canned statement that has been vetted by their lawyers.

If we see anything more than that, start trying to sell your account now because Crypto's lost the plot.

I don't expect any sort of statement stating insight to the case. A 'we're getting / have a legal team together to respond' paired with 'we're continuing development full-speed' (both statements can probably pass their legal team for release very quickly) from CZE would help a little bit on quelling the anxiety that's ramping up very quickly in the forums and fan-base.

I know they probably can't comment with any real substance, but they need to do something ASAP about getting us under control. I expect to come back from work and find a fellow dork with a hex shirt jumping off one of the bridges I drive by everyday.

mudkip
05-15-2014, 07:09 AM
They don't care about the HEX backers. Their goal is to make people who would be potentially go: "Oh wow, HEX is awesome." turn to "Oh, HEX? Why would I play a cheap rip-off?".


I dunno, man. On the Reddit MTG subreddit, one of the top comments is (paraphrased) "I had never heard of Hex but the UI looks great."

www.reddit.com/r/magicTCG/comments/25kg2m/wizards_of_the_coast_files_lawsuit_against/

There's no such thing as bad advertisement.

frychikn
05-15-2014, 07:16 AM
im not gonna pretend to be a lawyer like 80% of the people in this thread, even though i've probably taken more business law classes than most people in this thread...

but hex is pretty much "guilty", to say otherwise.... im not even sure. i know people like this game but lets be real.

im pretty damn good at magic, not even playing in alpha i come to hex draft and just tear it up just because of how similar it is to magic. its so similar that a player who has never even played hex can come and dominate drafts when they've only played mtg drafts.

either im just gods gift to card games, or hex and magic play just a LITTLE BIT too similar.

Jaunt
05-15-2014, 07:17 AM
@ThomasHunter: Being neither Gatticus nor a lawyer, you have no indicia of reliability for the following answer, but here it is anyway, and you can google to corroborate:

You seem to be thinking of genericide, which is basically where if your trademark is used to denote a class of thing rather than a brand, you can't then go and win trademark claims any more. For instance, Band-Aid used to advertise something like "I'm stuck on Band-Aids because Band-Aids don't stick on me". People started to call adhesive bandages of any types Band-Aids. They switched their slogan to "I'm stuck on Band-Aid brand [etc.]". That's why Google doesn't want me telling you to just go google it, and could probably make legal troubles for lmgtfy.com

So in short, it's a defense to trademark, not anything else. Even if writing YA books that appeal more to regretful adults became known as divergenting, if you wrote a terrible YA book and made it look like Divergent (trade dress), or copied the whole book, only changing every other paragraph (copyright), you're still in trouble.

To everyone else - you really don't have any idea what is "too close" for copying based on your layman's sensibilities. You know what murder and fraud look like, everyone does, but if you haven't actually read the complaint or don't know the standards of prevailing on the claims included, it might as well be wormholes and Hawking radiation. In fact, I'd wager there's a large fraction of the forum who understands Hawking radiation much better than either me or trade dress. You could be right, you could be wrong (50/50, after all), but chances are even the lawyers involved in this case have substantial doubts.

So, who else is just dying to read the Answer? It won't be around for a while, as Hex LLC has either 21 or 60 days, depending.

Diesbudt
05-15-2014, 07:24 AM
One thing I think one point no one is hitting on is the money that hex obtained that Hasbro is contesting is kick starter funds. Which, kick starter is a funding site. Hex never had to give rewards to backers, they chose to. So people that backed didn't buy the game, just helped finance it, such as a backer.

So if anything even a temp injunction, only thing that CZE would need to do is to keep game in closed beta, turn off any platinum purchasing (as that is financial gain) and given all platinum proceeds since a person could buy it from the store and the game can't be closed down. Because KS funds were funds to help being the game about, hasbro is not entitled to that money. Also gane is in closed beta. As long as game doesn't enter open beta or release until this is done. There isn't much if anything that could be done to shut down hex until a ruling is given. Yes it will stagnate the game, but there is that.

Plus you know how easy it would be to change a few things to offset some of the complaints.

Booster packs: add 1 more uncommon in them for total of 16 cards.

Opening draw: Make opening hand draw 8, discard 1 before game starts. (Hands still start at 7, but they draw 8. Plus this may slightly help resource issues some people see.

Tapping: Instead of tapping a creature to attack, flip it upside down with the important info still readable. It's a digital tcg. Can't be hard.

Resources: Change the colors. We could do yellow, purple, blue, red, green. (Topaz instead if diamond)

Life: start game at 21 life. And unless blackjack creator has a patent on 21. This is fine.

Way cards look: could easily swap cost to the bottom of the card and troops stats to the top.

Philomorph
05-15-2014, 07:28 AM
Opening draw: Make opening hand draw 8, discard 1 before game starts. (Hands still start at 7, but they draw 8. Plus this may slightly help resource issues some people see.


I like this idea, regardless of the suit.

AstaSyneri
05-15-2014, 07:29 AM
To put a lid on things (it'll boil over anyway, i know, but I have just been thinking what I could cook for dinner that the whole family would like :D): We won't see anything substantial in the near future. Cory/CZE need to get out there with that non-commital generic statement that they are on it, that there is not base to this ludicrous suit and that everything is continued as planned.

Then it would be nice to have some of those "extra features" materialize quickly - double backs, PvE with items, etc., so Hex can demonstrate the major differences to Magic.

If they manage to do that, this may actually have a net positive effect: As somebody already said before, there is no bad news (attention is good for Hex). For the next 1-3 days pretty much everybody in card games will look at this, and I can't imagine that the gaming magazines will ignore it.

It's going to be interesting, how CZE uses this.

Jaunt
05-15-2014, 07:31 AM
Diesbudt, you're right that they could change a bunch of things until they're very non-infringing. That doesn't mean they couldn't get wrecked by damages anyway. Consider a company who sells an immortality injection for 1 million dollars. Then imagine a second company promises to, in 3 months, begin selling the same procedure for 5 dollars. Do you think that the second company wouldn't have to pay anything because they were enjoined before making any sales?

mmac900
05-15-2014, 07:31 AM
One thing I think one point no one is hitting on is the money that hex obtained that Hasbro is contesting is kick starter funds. Which, kick starter is a funding site. Hex never had to give rewards to backers, they chose to. So people that backed didn't buy the game, just helped finance it, such as a backer.

So if anything even a temp injunction, only thing that CZE would need to do is to keep game in closed beta, turn off any platinum purchasing (as that is financial gain) and given all platinum proceeds since a person could buy it from the store and the game can't be closed down. Because KS funds were funds to help being the game about, hasbro is not entitled to that money. Also gane is in closed beta. As long as game doesn't enter open beta or release until this is done. There isn't much if anything that could be done to shut down hex until a ruling is given. Yes it will stagnate the game, but there is that.

Plus you know how easy it would be to change a few things to offset some of the complaints.

Booster packs: add 1 more uncommon in them for total of 16 cards.

Opening draw: Make opening hand draw 8, discard 1 before game starts. (Hands still start at 7, but they draw 8. Plus this may slightly help resource issues some people see.

Tapping: Instead of tapping a creature to attack, flip it upside down with the important info still readable. It's a digital tcg. Can't be hard.

Resources: Change the colors. We could do yellow, purple, blue, red, green. (Topaz instead if diamond)

Life: start game at 21 life. And unless blackjack creator has a patent on 21. This is fine.

Way cards look: could easily swap cost to the bottom of the card and troops stats to the top.

Many good ideas here

mudkip
05-15-2014, 07:38 AM
[SNIP]

Trust me, it will all work out.

zolop
05-15-2014, 07:39 AM
One thing I think one point no one is hitting on is the money that hex obtained that Hasbro is contesting is kick starter funds. Which, kick starter is a funding site. Hex never had to give rewards to backers, they chose to. So people that backed didn't buy the game, just helped finance it, such as a backer.

So if anything even a temp injunction, only thing that CZE would need to do is to keep game in closed beta, turn off any platinum purchasing (as that is financial gain) and given all platinum proceeds since a person could buy it from the store and the game can't be closed down. Because KS funds were funds to help being the game about, hasbro is not entitled to that money. Also gane is in closed beta. As long as game doesn't enter open beta or release until this is done. There isn't much if anything that could be done to shut down hex until a ruling is given. Yes it will stagnate the game, but there is that.

Plus you know how easy it would be to change a few things to offset some of the complaints.

Booster packs: add 1 more uncommon in them for total of 16 cards.

Opening draw: Make opening hand draw 8, discard 1 before game starts. (Hands still start at 7, but they draw 8. Plus this may slightly help resource issues some people see.

Tapping: Instead of tapping a creature to attack, flip it upside down with the important info still readable. It's a digital tcg. Can't be hard.

Resources: Change the colors. We could do yellow, purple, blue, red, green. (Topaz instead if diamond)

Life: start game at 21 life. And unless blackjack creator has a patent on 21. This is fine.

Way cards look: could easily swap cost to the bottom of the card and troops stats to the top.

Good Ideas


well thats kind of dick move. specialy since crypto have stated they are big fans and even make some cards that are clearly tribures to magic. but i guess thats how things are in the buissness world.

Sadly this is what happens when companies like the size of Wizards of the Coast can't compete with a smaller independent companies. They end up sueing the smaller companies to bleed their development funds, at least with software companies. The larger companies just want some of their profit.

Kroan
05-15-2014, 07:39 AM
You could also gray out cards with "Zzzzz" animation above them to show that they are used this turn. Gives the additional upside that you still can read them just fine without tilting your head 90% :P

Daparish81
05-15-2014, 07:44 AM
One thing I think one point no one is hitting on is the money that hex obtained that Hasbro is contesting is kick starter funds. Which, kick starter is a funding site. Hex never had to give rewards to backers, they chose to. So people that backed didn't buy the game, just helped finance it, such as a backer.

So if anything even a temp injunction, only thing that CZE would need to do is to keep game in closed beta, turn off any platinum purchasing (as that is financial gain) and given all platinum proceeds since a person could buy it from the store and the game can't be closed down. Because KS funds were funds to help being the game about, hasbro is not entitled to that money. Also gane is in closed beta. As long as game doesn't enter open beta or release until this is done. There isn't much if anything that could be done to shut down hex until a ruling is given. Yes it will stagnate the game, but there is that.

Plus you know how easy it would be to change a few things to offset some of the complaints.

Booster packs: add 1 more uncommon in them for total of 16 cards.

Opening draw: Make opening hand draw 8, discard 1 before game starts. (Hands still start at 7, but they draw 8. Plus this may slightly help resource issues some people see.

Tapping: Instead of tapping a creature to attack, flip it upside down with the important info still readable. It's a digital tcg. Can't be hard.

Resources: Change the colors. We could do yellow, purple, blue, red, green. (Topaz instead if diamond)

Life: start game at 21 life. And unless blackjack creator has a patent on 21. This is fine.

Way cards look: could easily swap cost to the bottom of the card and troops stats to the top.

Are these things copyrightable though? Hex doesn't call tapping cards "tapping", it calls them "exhausting". Can you copyright turning a card sideways to indicate that it has somehow changed its nature?

Can you copyright how many trading cards you include in your packs? Doubtful.

Can you copyright starting life in a card game? Doubtful.

Can you copyright the number of cards you start off with in an opening hand? Doubtful.

Can you copyright how cards look? Maybe, but Hex's cards don't really look anything like MtG cards.

Can you have a legitimate copyright on the grand total of all these little intricacies? Ah, therein lies the rub.

I have no idea what the caselaw says in this respect, but I'm not so sure game mechanics are copyrightable. If so, Everquest would be the only MMO still on the market at this point, as it was the innovator and from which all other MMO's created their model.

Kroan
05-15-2014, 07:48 AM
They're not copyrighted, but they have a patent on "tapping" (turning the card sideways) among other patents.

Just like Apple has a patent on "slide to unlock". (Which they're trying to enforce all the time)

Here is one (?) of the patents:
http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?patentnumber=5,662,332

And from wiki:

Wizards of the Coast holds U.S. Patent 5,662,332 on trading card games. The patent, filed in October 1995 and granted in September 1997, covers:
* Games published in the form of trading cards.
* Games in which a player selects a collection of tradeable elements
and uses that set to compete with other players.
* Certain aspects of gameplay originally developed for Magic: The Gathering,
such as "tapping" a card to indicate it is temporarily depleted.
As a holder of the patent, Wizards of the Coast has requested that all trading card game publishers license the mechanics described in the patent, usually for a royalty fee based on total sales.[4]

In October 2003, Wizards of the Coast filed suit against Nintendo and related companies in U.S. District Court in Seattle shortly after its distribution agreement expired. The suit alleged, along with other claims, that the Pokémon Trading Card Game infringed on the company's patent.[5] In December of that year, the parties settled the case on undisclosed terms.

mudkip
05-15-2014, 07:50 AM
[SNIP]

Trust me, it will all work out.

Last edited by Kami; Today at 08:43 AM. Reason: http://www.cryptozoic.com/coc#Obscene/Vulgar

Oh come on, it was contextually appropriate! You could have at least done a funny edit and changed it to "adult hug" or "interlock anatomy"

DocX
05-15-2014, 07:52 AM
Eh, more like they know they can't bankrupt and forcibly buy out Blizzard.

As to the substance of the similarities, there's a good article here that may have already been posted:http://www.gamedevelopment.com/view/feature/187385/clone_wars_the_five_most_.php?print=1


Excellent, informative article. Thanks much for the link!

Jaunt
05-15-2014, 07:56 AM
Oh come on, it was contextually appropriate! You could have at least done a funny edit and changed it to "adult hug" or "interlock anatomy"

I think just leaving it at "everything I know about US law I learned from House of Cards" would let the reader write his own punchline as good or better than the original.

Daparish81
05-15-2014, 08:02 AM
They're not copyrighted, but they have a patent on "tapping" (turning the card sideways) among other patents.

Just like Apple has a patent on "slide to unlock". (Which they're trying to enforce all the time)

Here is one (?) of the patents:
http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?patentnumber=5,662,332

And from wiki:

Well, again, Hex doesn't "tap" cards. Patenting something is also a bit different than a copyright argument. It should be comforting to everyone that Pokemon is still around and going strong (I assume), so is Yu-Gi-Oh or whatever. Also, Hearthstone and other online trading card games are thriving. That helps HEX here.

Norious
05-15-2014, 08:08 AM
Christ they made a fuckton of mistakes with this lawsuit. Bushido is nothing like Rage, yet they compare the two directly. No-one calls Resources 'Mana' either. Plus there are just straight up errors in there.

I only worry that it is a jury based trail - a jury is likely not going to understand the differences, especially when the Hasbro side will only ever point out the sames.

Also, they think CZE copied the plot? What a load of tripe. A single planet that was hit by a magic meteor. I never saw an MTG set even close to that. Plus all the sentient undead, the viscous bunnies, etc.

We are talking lawyers here. You think Judge Judy types will know these nuances? They built what looks like a big case here. Heck, they are even using fansites as evidence - sorry Threshold Podcast -
Hope the CZE team has a good legal team. Or else 500k or even an injunction on further production of the game. As many have said before, they must have anticipated this.

AstaSyneri
05-15-2014, 08:14 AM
BTW - has anybody here seen a card game with 63x88mm cards printed on 200+g stock? I have not - I am just seeing a computer game.

:D

Norious
05-15-2014, 08:16 AM
Yep... Thanks alot Matt... geez

Heck, these forums could be used for evidence - just look for various posts hex clone and such. I don't fault Matt. They just used their content as evidence to file. Look at all the links now up when I put in Hex is a Magic clone

mach
05-15-2014, 08:23 AM
BTW - has anybody here seen a card game with 63x88mm cards printed on 200+g stock? I have not - I am just seeing a computer game.

:D

Well, there are the physical cards they were using for playtesting before the client was ready....

AstaSyneri
05-15-2014, 08:25 AM
Well, there are the physical cards they were using for playtesting before the client was ready....

i don't think they can be sued for mock-ups. ;-)

I was just trying to lighten the tone a bit, as some players are seriously concerned. Roll with the punches. Hex is the far superior gaming experience and will come through. Hex_Colin will see to it ;-).

Daparish81
05-15-2014, 08:35 AM
It's an interesting fact pattern. I think HEX has a lot going for it in this one, though. Several aspects of Magic aren't protectable: Two people dueling each other with cards, summoning cards to a battlefield to damage the other duelist, differing types of cards (creatures/troops, spells, other permanents), card appearance, hand size and starting life. There are other physical card/deck games such as Mage Wars and Summoner Wars that play on this archetype, and various online iterations such as Hearthstone. http://venturebeat.com/2014/03/17/hearthstone-heroes-of-warcraft-review/. Plus, HEX is completely digital, and it's rules overarch anything that Magic can aspire to.

What is mildly troubling is that the Triple Town/Yeti Town case is in the EXACT venue that the HEX/MtG case is now in, and it completely controlling caselaw. However, I think the genre of the games are the same, the way that HEX exresses it's idea is different and there is no previous connection between the developers of HEX and the developers of Magic. It also helps that Magic has been around for over two decades; it can't be argued that HEX is trying to cash in on a "hot craze" like the Yeti Town folks.

Bells
05-15-2014, 08:36 AM
Being a better game does not operate with how a judge sees it in the eye of the law, which is the problem.

Daparish81
05-15-2014, 08:39 AM
Being a better game does not operate with how a judge sees it in the eye of the law, which is the problem.

It could. The Atari/Asteroids case seems to imply that, although it's merely persuasive and not controlling law.

DocX
05-15-2014, 08:40 AM
We're on page 37 in less than 18 hours. CZE needs to say something and they need to say something quick. I don't care if it doesn't have much substance - we'll whip ourselves into a frenzy so fast it'll do some damage.

No, they don't. They need to follow the advice of their lawyers and do what their lawyers tell them to as far as how to behave. If their lawyers allow, it would be nice if they posted something short and sweet here to reassure us, but that's not required.

The community being in a frenzy is less important than them not saying something that would be damaging down the line.

DocX
05-15-2014, 08:44 AM
im not gonna pretend to be a lawyer like 80% of the people in this thread, even though i've probably taken more business law classes than most people in this thread...

but hex is pretty much "guilty", to say otherwise.... im not even sure. i know people like this game but lets be real.

im pretty damn good at magic, not even playing in alpha i come to hex draft and just tear it up just because of how similar it is to magic. its so similar that a player who has never even played hex can come and dominate drafts when they've only played mtg drafts.

either im just gods gift to card games, or hex and magic play just a LITTLE BIT too similar.

And how good are you at drafting in another TCG? To make an analogy, if you can drive well in a truck, you are likely to be able to drive well in a car (and better than folks who have never drove before or who have only driven motorcycles). Draft is a larger concept than what is present in Magic.

Bells
05-15-2014, 08:44 AM
It could. The Atari/Asteroids case seems to imply that, although it's merely persuasive and not controlling law.

"could" "seems" "imply"

Dude... it doesn't.

Taste is subjective. I can totally see someone preferring MTG over Hex, i like HEX better. The judge that will see this case? Doesn't matter. He must see what the law says only and interpret that. Only.

Daparish81
05-15-2014, 08:50 AM
And how good are you at drafting in another TCG? To make an analogy, if you can drive well in a truck, you are likely to be able to drive well in a car (and better than folks who have never drove before or who have only driven motorcycles). Draft is a larger concept than what is present in Magic.

I cut my teeth on Magic. A few weeks ago I played Marvel's Legendary (a deck building superhero game) for the first time: I dominated. That's because I learned a lot of GAME THEORY while playing Magic that translates broadly, even though Magic and Legendary are not anything alike.

Daparish81
05-15-2014, 08:52 AM
"could" "seems" "imply"

Dude... it doesn't.

Taste is subjective. I can totally see someone preferring MTG over Hex, i like HEX better. The judge that will see this case? Doesn't matter. He must see what the law says only and interpret that. Only.

A savvy attorney would make the argument, don't worry. The attorney's job is differentiate the instant case (Hex/Magic) from the controlling case (Triple Town/Yeti Town), and he/she will do that with other caselaw from other venues if need be. The Atari case helps, no matter what you subjectively think. Judges, believe it or not, are subjective as well.

ipox
05-15-2014, 09:07 AM
so.....when is the AH coming?

mach
05-15-2014, 09:08 AM
No, they don't. They need to follow the advice of their lawyers and do what their lawyers tell them to as far as how to behave. If their lawyers allow, it would be nice if they posted something short and sweet here to reassure us, but that's not required.


IMHO they have at least an ethical obligation to say something as part of the KS updates, since they have not completely delivered on their KS rewards promises yet and this is something which might affect their ability to do so.

chili
05-15-2014, 09:08 AM
so.....when is the AH coming?

Yeah! When's the AH coming?

ursa23
05-15-2014, 09:12 AM
and he/she will do that with other caselaw from other venues if need be.

Totally read this as "coleslaw."

caffn8d
05-15-2014, 09:12 AM
I'd be shocked if this goes anywhere. I mean... how many FPS games are nearly identical in mechanics, but with different art/terminology differentiating them? 100's? 1000's? The Gamasutra article is pretty clear "The underlying idea of the video game, including the rules and game mechanics, are not copyrightable. Only the original expressive aspects, including the code, artwork, and sound, are protected by copyrightable law." Good luck Hasbro, and thanks for the advertising!

Avaian
05-15-2014, 09:14 AM
I feel Apes need to sue Humans for stealing their design of a carbon-based body.

On a more serious note. I am not sure if the has been brought up. But can the Kickstarter even be touched by Hasbro? all the kickstarter money is considered pledged donations that have been filled. I am not positive but as a donation that money cannot be used in the argument of CZE vs Hasbro.

Jaunt
05-15-2014, 09:20 AM
I'd be shocked if this goes anywhere. I mean... how many FPS games are nearly identical in mechanics, but with different art/terminology differentiating them?

A lot of them. But to the best of my knowledge, none of them has patented FPS gaming. Hasbro holds a patent on CCGs. You can google it for the exact claims involved. It's not a valid comparison.

koobiak
05-15-2014, 09:21 AM
Wonder if it works in Hex's favor that you currently cannot trade cards. . .that seems to be a significant part of what WotC is trying to protect.

If future plans are admissible, that opens the door for Hex to talk at length about all of the completely original aspects of Hex on the pve / mmo side.

Eierdotter
05-15-2014, 09:29 AM
I imagine a court where there are 10 lawyers one one side and Cory on the other.
And he just rambles about the Game and the PVE aspeckt and how he got a gender operation etc. to make it possible.

Anyway this Lawcase will either

kill HEX before launch

or make it far more popular than ever expected

mudkip
05-15-2014, 09:29 AM
Yeah! When's the AH coming?

Asking the important questions. It's BAU for most of CZE. I can't wait for the next feature patch!

GatticusFinch
05-15-2014, 09:36 AM
@Gatticus - here's a curious question/issue:

Would the word "tapping" be similar to making a "xerox" with my HP printer or asking my wife for a "kleenex" even though we buy puffs? In other words, since MTG was the FIRST of its class of games, won't things be known how they named them - maybe forever*?

Does this argument even matter? I think the word "mana" is also similar to "tapping". It's what folks are familiar with.

Thanks for any further insights!
Taleisin

*Forever isn't obviously "forever", but it can be a LONG time!

Jaunt had a good response to this, but here is a little more. What you are talking about is trademark abandonment under the Lanham Act. A mark becomes abandoned for genericism under the statute:


When any course of conduct of the owner, including acts of omission as well as commission, causes the mark to become the generic name for the goods or services on or in connection with which it is used or otherwise to lose its significance as a mark. 15 U.S.C. Sec. 1127(

Like those you mentioned, there are a number of trade names that ended up becoming generic terms for an item or an action. Some are still being fought over: to "photoshop" something, to "TIVO" something, etc.

Tapping is a creative description of something that happens in the game. It's not a good or a service (and I doubt they registered tapping as a trademark because of that), but I suppose it could fall under the "connection with which it is used" portion. I'm not sure. I don't think I have ever seen a case where a sub-description of a product succumbed to genericism. That's not to say they don't exist, but I don't think I have read one. My guess is "tapping" has no trademark protection at all.

Now, even if the word or phrase of "tapping" has no trademark protection, it probably has other intellectual property protections. The creative name of rotating a card 90 degrees and calling it "tapping" is probably a copyright protected creation, and the act of doing so (I believe) is in their patent (I haven't read the patents). In that sense, I don't think this argument really matters.

I just searched the US Patent and Trademark Office website, and it shows that Wizards of the Coast have applications for 471 marks, but I don't know how many are live or dead or even registered.

Their trademark on the tapping symbol is no longer live. http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=doc&state=4805:mn35n0.8.3

Perfectblue
05-15-2014, 09:42 AM
@GatticusFinch, Did you happen to read the article on Gamasutra? It is by a copyirght, trademark and patent lawyer in the videogame industry. He directly replied in the reddit thread, it seems there are many similarities to case law that directly applies to this situation with Hex.

http://www.gamedevelopment.com/view/feature/187385/clone_wars_the_five_most_.php?print=1

It seems Hex has a leg to stand on so to speak.

mmac900
05-15-2014, 09:42 AM
HEX is to magic as Titanfall is to call of duty. Both are the same genre, both contain cards or players running around shooting. Titanfall goes even further and allows you to level up (prestige in call of duty) and half of the creators of Titanfall are from the studio that made cod. And yet Titanfall is fine, therefore HEX should be fine too.

arastor
05-15-2014, 09:45 AM
http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=doc&state=4805:mn35n0.8.3[/url]


Unfortunately, your link there doesn't seem to be working.

Edit: and for some reason my quote of your link is even worse!

frychikn
05-15-2014, 09:45 AM
HEX is to magic as Titanfall is to call of duty. Both are the same genre, both contain cards or players running around shooting. Titanfall goes even further and allows you to level up (prestige in call of duty) and half of the creators of Titanfall are from the studio that made cod. And yet Titanfall is fine, therefore HEX should be fine too.

are you seriously saying titanfall is more like CoD than hex is like mtg?

hex is literally magic the gathering with different names. come on now.

Eierdotter
05-15-2014, 09:46 AM
HEX is to magic as Titanfall is to call of duty. Both are the same genre, both contain cards or players running around shooting. Titanfall goes even further and allows you to level up (prestige in call of duty) and half of the creators of Titanfall are from the studio that made cod. And yet Titanfall is fine, therefore HEX should be fine too.

well CoD does not claim to have invented to shoot at someone to lower his hp/kill him. or to reload if your weapon runs out of bullets...
and that is the case were wizard started the points

Flight
05-15-2014, 09:46 AM
Now, even if the word or phrase of "tapping" has no trademark protection, it probably has other intellectual property protections. The creative name of rotating a card 90 degrees and calling it "tapping" is probably a copyright protected creation, and the act of doing so (I believe) is in their patent (I haven't read the patents). In that sense, I don't think this argument really matters.

I just searched the US Patent and Trademark Office website, and it shows that Wizards of the Coast have applications for 471 marks, but I don't know how many are live or dead or even registered.

Their trademark on the tapping symbol is no longer live. http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=doc&state=4805:mn35n0.8.3



As I recall the tapping mechanic was a big part of WotCs first major legal action which saw a slew of early CCGs die which had copied it, not least the Star Trek CCG. This was around '95.

Jaunt
05-15-2014, 09:53 AM
Yeti Town is an interesting (and bad) precedent, but (as far as I know) could easily be distinguished by saying that Yetitown and Triple Town are isomorphs, but Hex and MtG are not. They are, right? I played Triple Town on my fiancee's phone once, that's it.

As far as Titanfall vs CoD...Hasbro is basically saying 3 things: "you're copying our look so people will confuse you and us", "we have a patent and you're doing things covered by the patent" and "you copied us. like literally copied". There is no way on anyone's green earth that "but Titanfall isn't suing Call of Duty" will be a valid defense if Hasbro establishes they hold a patent, and CZE did the things covered in the patent.

GatticusFinch
05-15-2014, 09:58 AM
@GatticusFinch, Did you happen to read the article on Gamasutra? It is by a copyirght, trademark and patent lawyer in the videogame industry. He directly replied in the reddit thread, it seems there are many similarities to case law that directly applies to this situation with Hex.

http://www.gamedevelopment.com/view/feature/187385/clone_wars_the_five_most_.php?print=1

It seems Hex has a leg to stand on so to speak.

That article is about copyright only, which is totally inapplicable to the trade dress and patent issues. WOTC is alleging three separate intellectual property violations, of which copyright is merely one of them.

It's a good article about explaining the historical route toward how things currently stand on copyright. However, your takeaway from the article is, frankly, wrong. There are a lot of older precedents under copyright law to protecting cloning, but the proliferation of clones in mobile games has sort of expanded this area of the law. If anything, the law has slowly been shifting toward expanding copyrightable elements in video games. The Triple Town case is particularly interesting because it was decided in the Western District of Washington, the very same Court that this lawsuit has been filed in.

Cases like this are never cut and dry, and it is impossible to say with certainty that they will win or will lose. The only thing that can really be said is that this area of the law is starting to develop a little more as games become more and more mainstream, especially mobile clones, and the tides seem to be going toward expanding copyright protection a little more (again, remember that copyright protection is different than other two claims). This case isn't a slam dunk for Hex on any of the three grounds.

LeMazing
05-15-2014, 10:01 AM
are you seriously saying titanfall is more like CoD than hex is like mtg?

hex is literally magic the gathering with different names. come on now. Yeah, I'd say a more fair comparison is Rock Band to Guitar Hero.

Perfectblue
05-15-2014, 10:12 AM
@GatticusFinch, Thank you for the reply. I went back and read through your replies, as you state from a trade dress point of view, they might have a case. Is there anything that Hex could do at this point to help lessen such claims? For example tapping cards and having graveyards is pretty standard through many trading card games. Instead of tapping, the troops are "exhausted" in this game, why not go with that flavor of being exhausted and have a "zzzz" symbol by the exhausted troop?

Or for the graveyard, have an actual UI element that makes it look like the card is being buried in the graveyard?

bojanglesz
05-15-2014, 10:12 AM
I guess this is why they created Hex Entertainment LLC. Guess the talks with WotC spooked them.

drproton
05-15-2014, 10:14 AM
@GatticusFinch, Thank you for the reply. I went back and read through your replies, as you state from a trade dress point of view, they might have a case. Is there anything that Hex could do at this point to help lessen such claims? For example tapping cards and having graveyards is pretty standard through many trading card games. Instead of tapping, the troops are "exhausted" in this game, why not go with that flavor of being exhausted and have a "zzzz" symbol by the exhausted troop?

Or for the graveyard, have an actual UI element that makes it look like the card is being buried in the graveyard?

They could move the portraits from the top of the card to the bottom, and the descriptions from the bottom to the top.

Philomorph
05-15-2014, 10:16 AM
There is a lively discussion on this topic also happening at Board Game Geek: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1172032

As that site has a wider gaming audience, it's interesting to see the perspectives of people more familiar with MTG than Hex, or not too familiar with either.

Vorpal
05-15-2014, 10:17 AM
I don't' think WOTC has a legal leg to stand on in this case, but we must admit there is a very real possibility they could bankrupt CZE with legal fees, even if in the end CZE 'wins' the case.

I have no idea if MTG players sending in comments to WOTC asking them to drop the suit would be effective or not. Or even if most MTG players would like to see Hex succeed or fail. I feel like we'd be better off with both games going strong and with healthy communities, but I guess WOTC doesn't see it that way.

I'm pretty disappointed in WOTC.

GatticusFinch
05-15-2014, 10:23 AM
@GatticusFinch, Thank you for the reply. I went back and read through your replies, as you state from a trade dress point of view, they might have a case. Is there anything that Hex could do at this point to help lessen such claims? For example tapping cards and having graveyards is pretty standard through many trading card games. Instead of tapping, the troops are "exhausted" in this game, why not go with that flavor of being exhausted and have a "zzzz" symbol by the exhausted troop?

Or for the graveyard, have an actual UI element that makes it look like the card is being buried in the graveyard?

Yes, essentially anything that would make it look less like Magic or Duels would help. At this point, however, the cat is sort of out of the bag. Now that the game is monetized, they are going to have a hard time claiming "but beta" on the UI in court.

However, even if they change those things, the patents on the game mechanics might still do them in (I haven't taken the time to look up the patents, and of the three legal claims would be the one I know the least about). Changing up the look would bolster their defense on the copyright and trade dress angle though.

Maybe I'll try to put together some sort of general overview of the differences between the copyright, trade dress, and patent claims.

ThomasHunter
05-15-2014, 10:26 AM
@GatticusFinch - thanks for the excellent insights! Really appreciated!

Xenavire
05-15-2014, 10:27 AM
I guess this is why they created Hex Entertainment LLC. Guess the talks with WotC spooked them.

I would wager that they had to file for this in some way, and that it wouldn't be an overnight thing. I am fairly certain they would have done this shortly after the kickstarter, or possibly even before that.

Kami
05-15-2014, 10:32 AM
I would wager that they had to file for this in some way, and that it wouldn't be an overnight thing. I am fairly certain they would have done this shortly after the kickstarter, or possibly even before that.

Filed in April 3, 2013. http://www.bizapedia.com/ca/HEX-ENTERTAINMENT-LLC.html

Looks like just before Kickstarter. :)

Glae
05-15-2014, 10:34 AM
@GatticusFinch: thanks for all the context for us fans!

EntropyBall
05-15-2014, 10:36 AM
Edit: worthless post.

Daparish81
05-15-2014, 10:37 AM
It seems many people are interested in becoming legal experts in 15 minutes or less, and this article has as good history of what the courts consider "copying" in video games. Please bear in mind, however, that this is only referring to copyright, not patent or trade-dress claims such as those made by Hasbro.
http://www.gamedevelopment.com/view/feature/187385/clone_wars_the_five_most_.php?print=1

That article was posted pages ago and is being discussed in depth.

Xenavire
05-15-2014, 10:39 AM
Filed in April 3, 2013. http://www.bizapedia.com/ca/HEX-ENTERTAINMENT-LLC.html

Looks like just before Kickstarter. :)

I suspected as much :D that points to them deciding to do that long before they were approached by Hasbro/WotC.

Jaunt
05-15-2014, 11:06 AM
Gatticus- The reissue of the CCG patent has 6 independent claims. They are basically as follows:

1) A method for playing games where you a) construct a deck or deck-like group of components b) randomizing it and drawing some to form your starting hand c) taking turns paying for and playing cards (or other components)

2) A method of playing a TCG where the components include the rules, and a reservoir of cards and you a) collect cards by buying and trading b) play cards faceup and pay for them, and sometimes interact with other cards and c) discard to a max hand size.

3) A method of playing card games with rules suitable for multiple copies of cards, and the rules containing instructions on turn sequence and hand size, the method including: a) buying, trading or winning cards to create a reservoir of cards b) constructing a library by picking from your reservoir c) shuffling and drawing a hand d) taking turns in accordance with the rules.

4) Designating cards by rotating them (tapping them). Does not necessarily have to be 90 degrees clockwise.

5) Designating cards by rotating them 90 degrees clockwise.

6) Untapping all your cards at the beginning of your turn.

As far as I've ascertain, neither the original patent nor the reissue have ever had their validity tested before a court. Nintendo settled with them, with undisclosed terms. They've squashed a few smaller games.

mudkip
05-15-2014, 11:06 AM
http://i.imgur.com/PlMzDLv.jpg

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-RJTX4GCw5rQ/T4WJc9XX56I/AAAAAAAAqQ0/H4DD5x1Ca-A/w500/photo.jpg


Waiting for a response :)

Daparish81
05-15-2014, 11:10 AM
Gatticus- The reissue of the CCG patent has 6 independent claims. They are basically as follows:

1) A method for playing games where you a) construct a deck or deck-like group of components b) randomizing it and drawing some to form your starting hand c) taking turns paying for and playing cards (or other components)

2) A method of playing a TCG where the components include the rules, and a reservoir of cards and you a) collect cards by buying and trading b) play cards faceup and pay for them, and sometimes interact with other cards and c) discard to a max hand size.

3) A method of playing card games with rules suitable for multiple copies of cards, and the rules containing instructions on turn sequence and hand size, the method including: a) buying, trading or winning cards to create a reservoir of cards b) constructing a library by picking from your reservoir c) shuffling and drawing a hand d) taking turns in accordance with the rules.

4) Designating cards by rotating them (tapping them). Does not necessarily have to be 90 degrees clockwise.

5) Designating cards by rotating them 90 degrees clockwise.

6) Untapping all your cards at the beginning of your turn.

As far as I've ascertain, neither the original patent nor the reissue have ever had their validity tested before a court. Nintendo settled with them, with undisclosed terms. They've squashed a few smaller games.

The patent issue is odd. I don't practice in the patent realm, and it's unlike any other aspect of the law (very engineerinf focused), but I don't see how some of those things are patentable. If they are, WotC has sure been arbitrary about protecting them.

GatticusFinch
05-15-2014, 11:12 AM
Gatticus- The reissue of the CCG patent has 6 independent claims. They are basically as follows:

1) A method for playing games where you a) construct a deck or deck-like group of components b) randomizing it and drawing some to form your starting hand c) taking turns paying for and playing cards (or other components)

2) A method of playing a TCG where the components include the rules, and a reservoir of cards and you a) collect cards by buying and trading b) play cards faceup and pay for them, and sometimes interact with other cards and c) discard to a max hand size.

3) A method of playing card games with rules suitable for multiple copies of cards, and the rules containing instructions on turn sequence and hand size, the method including: a) buying, trading or winning cards to create a reservoir of cards b) constructing a library by picking from your reservoir c) shuffling and drawing a hand d) taking turns in accordance with the rules.

4) Designating cards by rotating them (tapping them). Does not necessarily have to be 90 degrees clockwise.

5) Designating cards by rotating them 90 degrees clockwise.

6) Untapping all your cards at the beginning of your turn.

As far as I've ascertain, neither the original patent nor the reissue have ever had their validity tested before a court. Nintendo settled with them, with undisclosed terms. They've squashed a few smaller games.

Thanks. Patent issues rarely come up in my practice so I am definitely no expert on the subject. I know the law changed recently to allow post-grant patent challenges, but I don't know enough about it to say if CZE has standing to do that at this time.

Flight
05-15-2014, 11:14 AM
As a point of order on the documents shown at http://www.scribd.com/doc/224144304/Wizards-of-the-Coast-v-Cryptozoic-Entertainment-et-al WotCs lawyers have written 14th of March instead of 14th of May. No idea if that is the document that was submitted.

bojanglesz
05-15-2014, 11:14 AM
I would wager that they had to file for this in some way, and that it wouldn't be an overnight thing. I am fairly certain they would have done this shortly after the kickstarter, or possibly even before that.

Happy to be wrong. Just remember the Hex Entertainment language popping up at the bottom of the forums and in game around March

ZacPhoenix
05-15-2014, 11:18 AM
Gatticus- The reissue of the CCG patent has 6 independent claims. They are basically as follows:

1) A method for playing games where you a) construct a deck or deck-like group of components b) randomizing it and drawing some to form your starting hand c) taking turns paying for and playing cards (or other components)

2) A method of playing a TCG where the components include the rules, and a reservoir of cards and you a) collect cards by buying and trading b) play cards faceup and pay for them, and sometimes interact with other cards and c) discard to a max hand size.

3) A method of playing card games with rules suitable for multiple copies of cards, and the rules containing instructions on turn sequence and hand size, the method including: a) buying, trading or winning cards to create a reservoir of cards b) constructing a library by picking from your reservoir c) shuffling and drawing a hand d) taking turns in accordance with the rules.

4) Designating cards by rotating them (tapping them). Does not necessarily have to be 90 degrees clockwise.

5) Designating cards by rotating them 90 degrees clockwise.

6) Untapping all your cards at the beginning of your turn.

As far as I've ascertain, neither the original patent nor the reissue have ever had their validity tested before a court. Nintendo settled with them, with undisclosed terms. They've squashed a few smaller games.

This is so weird. This would include even vastly different games such as Dominion and other deck-builder games (of which CZE continue to make and release).

Man I hate this patent nonsense. It's creativity destroying.

Vorpal
05-15-2014, 11:22 AM
Man I hate this patent nonsense. It's creativity destroying.

Definitely. Our patent rules are a disgrace. They are most used to stifle, crush, and destroy creativity and innovation. They need a complete overhaul.

GatticusFinch
05-15-2014, 11:23 AM
As a point of order on the documents shown at http://www.scribd.com/doc/224144304/Wizards-of-the-Coast-v-Cryptozoic-Entertainment-et-al WotCs lawyers have written 14th of March instead of 14th of May. No idea if that is the document that was submitted.

If it was filed on March 14, CZE likely has a filing deadline coming up soon. I assume they were served or waived service at least a month ago.

If anyone is truly that gungho about it, all federal court records are available online for $0.10 a page. You can look up and print out whatever there is on this case. http://www.pacer.gov/

Daparish81
05-15-2014, 11:26 AM
If it was filed on March 14, CZE likely has a filing deadline coming up soon. I assume they were served or waived service at least a month ago.

If anyone is truly that gungho about it, all federal court records are available online for $0.10 a page. http://www.pacer.gov/

It's a typo. The electronic signature at the bottom of each page reads that the document was completed on 5/13/2014.

EntropyBall
05-15-2014, 11:28 AM
Plus you know how easy it would be to change a few things to offset some of the complaints.

Booster packs: add 1 more uncommon in them for total of 16 cards.

Opening draw: Make opening hand draw 8, discard 1 before game starts. (Hands still start at 7, but they draw 8. Plus this may slightly help resource issues some people see.

Tapping: Instead of tapping a creature to attack, flip it upside down with the important info still readable. It's a digital tcg. Can't be hard.

Resources: Change the colors. We could do yellow, purple, blue, red, green. (Topaz instead if diamond)

Life: start game at 21 life. And unless blackjack creator has a patent on 21. This is fine.

Way cards look: could easily swap cost to the bottom of the card and troops stats to the top.

I've never understood why they didn't just do this from the start. I quit MTG years ago, and I'm very into Hex, but even in the KS I was shocked that they used so many of the same game structures. Lots of games share a few of these mechanics with MTG, but Hex shares more than any game out there. I wouldn't confuse one game for another, and Hex clearly has a lot of innovations that MTG doesn't, but you absolutely cannot find a game more similar to MTG than Hex is. Hopefully they are legally different enough.

GatticusFinch
05-15-2014, 11:30 AM
It's a typo. The electronic signature at the bottom of each page reads that the document was completed on 5/13/2014.

Ah. Well, I doubt Wizards bothered with asking them to waive service, since it is likely just going to a corporate service agent, (I know I don't) so we'll see some sort of filing by CZE in the next three weeks.

Jaunt
05-15-2014, 11:35 AM
Since Gatticus mentioned it, if anyone is gungho enough to throw a few dollars at PACER, please remember the rest of your hex bros (and shebros) and hit up RECAP (https://www.recapthelaw.org/) for us. See, it's clever, because it's PACER backwards. People can be so smart.

nicosharp
05-15-2014, 11:39 AM
For Gatticus:
1827

GatticusFinch
05-15-2014, 11:42 AM
Since Gatticus mentioned it, if anyone is gungho enough to throw a few dollars at PACER, please remember the rest of your hex bros (and shebros) and hit up RECAP (https://www.recapthelaw.org/) for us. See, it's clever, because it's PACER backwards. People can be so smart.

Are you involved with RECAP? Just curious how you knew about it. The entire PACER system needs revamped so badly. I just love getting those CM/ECF emails that think I already used my free download and want me to pay $3.00 to download something that I just filed.

GatticusFinch
05-15-2014, 11:43 AM
For Gatticus:
1827

Doin thangs is what I should be doing instead of messing around on here, but my secretary is abstracting depositions and listening to pandora so I guess I can screw around without getting caught.

hammer
05-15-2014, 11:43 AM
http://www.quietspeculation.com/2014/05/understanding-the-wizards-v-hex-lawsuit-in-plain-english/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Jaunt
05-15-2014, 11:46 AM
No involvement I'm afraid, just a law grad anticipating the bar. RECAP has been invaluable in following pet cases, for instance, Games Workshop v. Chapterhouse. Just thought I'd plug free access to public documents where relevant.

Hammer - Awesome link, thanks!

Wolfe
05-15-2014, 11:47 AM
I thought I would pop on here for a minute and give a couple of my opinions, what with me apparently being sucked into this. I didn't find out I was involved until I left Cryptozoic's office, of which I had a scheduled visit for the past couple months. I'm not ashamed to admit I nearly started crying at the thought of hurting Cory Jones and the rest of Cryptozoic as I drove my co-host, Josh, home. Just like Cory, I wear my heart on my sleeve and it devastated me to think of my words being used against them. I cannot apologize enough for that but I will surely try.

We love the podcast, keep it up! I was bummed when they dragged you in too.

Kami
05-15-2014, 11:52 AM
http://www.quietspeculation.com/2014/05/understanding-the-wizards-v-hex-lawsuit-in-plain-english/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Awesome read. Thanks for the link. =^_^=

GatticusFinch
05-15-2014, 11:53 AM
http://www.quietspeculation.com/2014/05/understanding-the-wizards-v-hex-lawsuit-in-plain-english/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

I don't agree with his trade dress argument. Yes, parts of the design have functions, but the vast majority of them do not. User interfaces can be trade dress protected and there are a number of elements between Hex and Magic that are non-functional and similar. This is the most interesting legal question in the case.

frychikn
05-15-2014, 11:54 AM
sadly im not sure what side of the fence i am on. i do like hex, but they could of done so much more to make this game better and differentiate itself from magic more. when i play this game, it does not feel like a new game to me, it literally feels like im playing magic the gathering.

GatticusFinch
05-15-2014, 11:56 AM
No involvement I'm afraid, just a law grad anticipating the bar. RECAP has been invaluable in following pet cases, for instance, Games Workshop v. Chapterhouse. Just thought I'd plug free access to public documents where relevant.

Hammer - Awesome link, thanks!

Ah, the bar exam. Still have the occasional nightmare of oversleeping it. Just remember--hand write the bar exam if they let you, because shitty handwriting gets the benefit of the doubt. I basically put squiggly lines for an entire paragraph about a holder in due course of a negotiable instrument.

MMO_Unforgiven
05-15-2014, 12:04 PM
Haha I used to work as a bartender in a hotel where they had the bar exams. I still remember how stressed out all those guys/gals were then.

Sergan
05-15-2014, 12:10 PM
http://www.quietspeculation.com/2014/05/understanding-the-wizards-v-hex-lawsuit-in-plain-english/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter


thanks for sharing.. a lot enlightening

ossuary
05-15-2014, 12:18 PM
http://www.quietspeculation.com/2014/05/understanding-the-wizards-v-hex-lawsuit-in-plain-english/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

I was just working my way through this article when I saw you post it!

It's a good read. Lots to digest. Will have thoughts to share later, when I am no longer "Doin' Thangs." :)

Jaunt
05-15-2014, 12:22 PM
You must've made a killing in tips, offering sweet liquid oblivion to those lost souls after their ordeal.

Just read through Spry Fox v. Lolapps. What a terrible ruling. The extrinsic text for substantial similarity could plausibly be met because Yeti Town had the word "Town" in its name and also because the objects chosen (huts/houses, trees, whatever) were kind of the same. And the intrinsic test can be met because a) bloggers, b) the extrinsic test.

I'm having a hard time reconciling it with earlier precedent.

Hieronymous
05-15-2014, 12:30 PM
One important point about all those "these two cards are the same, they cost two black and a colorless to kill something" posts or whatever:

There's an important difference between any two cards posted like that; threshold. Take a card like Hex's Extinction. The natural comparison would be to, say, Wrath of God; two cards that appear to cost two colored mana/resource and two uncolored mana/resource.

But that's actually a false comparison; in MTG terms, Extinction's actual cost would be four mana of any color, so long as you had two of the appropriate land types in play. And that difference is consistent across all cards, and has very real implications for game flow and pacing and strategy and so forth. It's an non-trivial difference between hex cards and almost all Magic cards.

GatticusFinch
05-15-2014, 12:32 PM
Here is an article with cites to recent electronic trade dress cases. http://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/x/273828/IT+internet/Trade+Dress+Can+Be+Viable+Means+of+Protecting+Webs ites+from+Competitors+LookAlike+Sites

It seems to me you could also have a distinctive look and feel for a game's interface. It's an interesting question.

Gwaer
05-15-2014, 12:32 PM
That's very strange, I posted my understanding of trade dress and why it's very unlikely to be an interesting question several pages ago. I'm glad this article agrees with that opinion, so I don't need to go argue with him.

GatticusFinch
05-15-2014, 12:42 PM
That's very strange, I posted my understanding of trade dress and why it's very unlikely to be an interesting question several pages ago. I'm glad this article agrees with that opinion, so I don't need to go argue with him.

Feel free to argue with me then, because both of you are wrong. Just because parts of the interface are functional doesn't mean there is no trade dress protection for the interface. We have many other cases that are willing to extend trade dress protection to website interfaces so game interfaces is not a big leap from there.

There are a lot of nonfunctional design choices shared between the two.

Gwaer
05-15-2014, 12:44 PM
I'd argue that a website is much more like the packaging of a product than an interface in a game. Especially any part of the interface that broadcasts necessary gameplay information.

But it will be interesting to see how it plays out I agree.

there are very few aspects of the hex UI that are non functional. The extraneous circles on the game board are really about it. The central circle is fine in that it broadcasts the phase of the turn in a more readily available spot than the top of the screen.

Daparish81
05-15-2014, 12:51 PM
Ah, the bar exam. Still have the occasional nightmare of oversleeping it. Just remember--hand write the bar exam if they let you, because shitty handwriting gets the benefit of the doubt. I basically put squiggly lines for an entire paragraph about a holder in due course of a negotiable instrument.

Then ice your wrist, nurse a beer and begin to slowly eat your own sanity away waiting until October when the results are published.

Daparish81
05-15-2014, 12:53 PM
You must've made a killing in tips, offering sweet liquid oblivion to those lost souls after their ordeal.

Just read through Spry Fox v. Lolapps. What a terrible ruling. The extrinsic text for substantial similarity could plausibly be met because Yeti Town had the word "Town" in its name and also because the objects chosen (huts/houses, trees, whatever) were kind of the same. And the intrinsic test can be met because a) bloggers, b) the extrinsic test.

I'm having a hard time reconciling it with earlier precedent.

It's bad for Hex, because we're in the same venue.

Daparish81
05-15-2014, 12:57 PM
One important point about all those "these two cards are the same, they cost two black and a colorless to kill something" posts or whatever:

There's an important difference between any two cards posted like that; threshold. Take a card like Hex's Extinction. The natural comparison would be to, say, Wrath of God; two cards that appear to cost two colored mana/resource and two uncolored mana/resource.

But that's actually a false comparison; in MTG terms, Extinction's actual cost would be four mana of any color, so long as you had two of the appropriate land types in play. And that difference is consistent across all cards, and has very real implications for game flow and pacing and strategy and so forth. It's an non-trivial difference between hex cards and almost all Magic cards.

Also, Magic has printed how many cards now? Magic can take any Ruby card with a Dragon on it and hold up about 5 of its own with similar cost and artwork and claim that Hex ripped it off.

Daparish81
05-15-2014, 12:58 PM
Feel free to argue with me then, because both of you are wrong. Just because parts of the interface are functional doesn't mean there is no trade dress protection for the interface. We have many other cases that are willing to extend trade dress protection to website interfaces so game interfaces is not a big leap from there.

There are a lot of nonfunctional design choices shared between the two.

I can argue for a big distinction between the functionality of a game interface, and a website interface though.

GatticusFinch
05-15-2014, 12:59 PM
Then ice your wrist, nurse a beer and begin to slowly eat your own sanity away waiting until October when the results are published.

I started at my firm the Tuesday after I took the exam, so I only had to worry about getting fired if I failed too.

mudkip
05-15-2014, 01:01 PM
In my mind, I'm not worried about this any more. I've come to the conclusion that is Magic is a card game and Hex is a video game, and video games in the past have gotten away with much, much worse.

Jaunt
05-15-2014, 01:03 PM
It's bad for Hex, because we're in the same venue.

No doubt. I'm just saying I don't know how "if you make a karate game, of course you can't claim karate moves or outfits" transforms into "if you make a match-3 game about building a town, you can TOTALLY claim buildings, and the word 'town'", and wild animals. Also bloggers."

For what it's worth, "Also bloggers" is one of the worst parts. If you listen to bloggers, Blizzard can claim the idea of MMOs as trade dress, because every MMO is "WoW in [space/pirate ships/modern day/drag]" according to the internet.

@mudkip - You've come to a very wrong conclusion.

Daparish81
05-15-2014, 01:03 PM
I started at my firm the Tuesday after I took the exam, so I only had to worry about getting fired if I failed too.

I was working as an intern, so passing meant the bump up to Associate and associate pay. The day that the results posted, I was driving across state. I had my dad check them for me and call while driving. I'm not sure I've ever been more nervous than when I heard my phone ring on that trip.

Daparish81
05-15-2014, 01:05 PM
No doubt. I'm just saying I don't know how "if you make a karate game, of course you can't claim karate moves or outfits" transforms into "if you make a match-3 game about building a town, you can TOTALLY claim buildings, and the word 'town'", and wild animals. Also bloggers."

For what it's worth, "Also bloggers" is one of the worst parts. If you listen to bloggers, Blizzard can claim the idea of MMOs as trade dress, because every MMO is "WoW in [space/pirate ships/modern day/drag]" according to the internet.

However, I will say that: 1) Yeti Town appears to be just a re-skin of the Triple Town game, and the developers had some other previous shady dealings; 2) I haven't read the opinion, but I think the Court basically just upheld the trial Judge's determination not to throw the case out at MSJ. It still proceeded to trial, according to that Quiet Speculation article.

Lawlschool
05-15-2014, 01:07 PM
Ah, the bar exam. Still have the occasional nightmare of oversleeping it. Just remember--hand write the bar exam if they let you, because shitty handwriting gets the benefit of the doubt. I basically put squiggly lines for an entire paragraph about a holder in due course of a negotiable instrument.

Haha, handwriting ftw. Secured transactions and negotiable instruments was awful. Somehow managed to bs enough of that to pass, and have basically repressed all memories of last summer.

karazax
05-15-2014, 01:07 PM
Here is an interesting article regarding copyrights in video games:

http://www.gamedevelopment.com/view/feature/187385/clone_wars_the_five_most_.php?print=1

Mushroom_C1oud
05-15-2014, 01:08 PM
First, I would like to thank Hasbro for acknowledging that Hex: Shards of Fate is a better game then Magic: The Gathering.

Second, I would like to point out that this is the second time since WotC was bought out by Hasbro that someone has made a better product based on some of the ideas created by WotC whereas WotC continued to push their franchises into the ground.

Thank you CZE and Paizo.

AdamAoE2
05-15-2014, 01:08 PM
I have decided I'm not going to worry about it. In Cory I trust. What happens, happens, and all I can do is continue to support the Hex TCG team. I have no doubt that even if Hasbro wins part of its case, Cory would rather redesign the entire game and its core concepts then let Hex die.

larryhl
05-15-2014, 01:09 PM
Here is an interesting article regarding copyrights in video games:

http://www.gamedevelopment.com/view/feature/187385/clone_wars_the_five_most_.php?print=1

Everyone keeps linking the same pages over and over again...

jtatta
05-15-2014, 01:10 PM
This may have been linked already, but here's a -very- good article about the lawsuit: http://www.quietspeculation.com/2014/05/understanding-the-wizards-v-hex-lawsuit-in-plain-english/

In the end he makes his predictions for the case from a lawyer point of view and says that CZE should win the Lanham Act claims, lose the Patent claims, and the copyright claims are still up in the air. To break it down even more, the Lanham Act claims would be a full stop, the patent claims would be damages, and the copyright stuff can be anything from full stop to permanent fees paid to WotC, to damages.

Bottom line: Hex -should- be fine moving forward and shouldn't have to worry about a full stop but they're going to be drained pretty hardcore by legal fees and damages.

- John

larryhl
05-15-2014, 01:12 PM
This may have been linked already, but here's a -very- good article about the lawsuit: http://www.quietspeculation.com/2014/05/understanding-the-wizards-v-hex-lawsuit-in-plain-english/

In the end he makes his predictions for the case from a lawyer point of view and says that CZE should win the Lanham Act claims, lose the Patent claims, and the copyright claims are still up in the air. To break it down even more, the Lanham Act claims would be a full stop, the patent claims would be damages, and the copyright stuff can be anything from full stop to permanent fees paid to WotC, to damages.

Bottom line: Hex -should- be fine moving forward and shouldn't have to worry about a full stop but they're going to be drained pretty hardcore by legal fees and damages.

- John

And....this site was actually edited into the OP a while ago...seriously people? If you're going to follow the thread, at least read everything first. Please.

fido_one
05-15-2014, 01:15 PM
And....this site was actually edited into the OP a while ago...seriously people? If you're going to follow the thread, at least read everything first. Please.

Eh, that's a bit unfair - for those following the thread a day later we're not going to re-read the OP every time. Especially as this thread wasn't flagged as the OP was updating. On my behalf, thanks jtatta for posting this on the tail end.

maniza
05-15-2014, 01:17 PM
i dont know much about law, but i want to share my humble opinion as to why i think hex is not a magic clone or copy. in my years playing video games i have seen my fair share of clones. a clone to me is a lower quality game that copies a much more poular game in an atempt to make a quick buck from someone thinking that it is the better game. that to me is wrong.

now to explain why i think hex is not a copy or a clone of magic i have to explain some thing video games tend to be similar, very similar because they are built upon core mecanics that are basic and for the most part dont change. games that have thesame or similar core mecanics are not copies of each other because they use those mecanics in diferent ways. as a basic example the 2d plataformers for the most part have a jump and a run mecanic at their core. there have been games built on these to basic mecanics for over 20 years. are they all clones of each other? no.

so hex and magic are similar games, built upon basic game mecanics that were first introduced (to the best of my knowledge) by magic. does this gives wotc the right to clame that they are the only ones that can make tcgs where you rotate cards, or have 20 life, or have creatures with some kind of evation? again im not a law expert but i certainly hope not. because those are great ideas that can be used and expanded by game designers to create a solid game.

so i dont think that hex is a simple copy of magic because eventhou it can feel familiar to a magic player but it is certainly not desame. they introduced new mecanics and improved upon others in the first set alone. they balanced and tweaked the gameplay so that it is fun, complex and open to several diferent strategies. they implemented a robust plataform to suport their game. they actively listen to the comunity on how to further improve their game and they show pasion for it.

i could go on and on but the point is that this is not what cloning a game is, this is how the video game industry has evolved over the years, by taking good ideas and building upon them and making them even better. i love magic the gathering as a game and to see wotc acting in such a greedy and simpleminded fashion can only make me sad. i hope in the future we can all laugh about this while enjoying the game that i know hex can become.

Mushroom_C1oud
05-15-2014, 01:19 PM
Here is an interesting article regarding copyrights in video games:

http://www.gamedevelopment.com/view/feature/187385/clone_wars_the_five_most_.php?print=1

Outstanding read! Seems like most of the mechanics are scčnes ŕ faire and cannot be based a clone on those aspects alone. Also, Hex is completely online and involves mechanics not used in MtGO due to its physical counterpart. While it shares many similarities this is simply an innovation and improved version of common TCG rules and adds new elements such as the MMO.

Seems to me Hasbro hasn't a shot at winning this lawsuit and really just trying to waste everyone's money.

jtatta
05-15-2014, 01:22 PM
And....this site was actually edited into the OP a while ago...seriously people? If you're going to follow the thread, at least read everything first. Please.

Dude, the thread is 50 pages. I don't have time for that and many others don't either. I was trying to be helpful.

Jaunt
05-15-2014, 01:22 PM
The court not throwing it out at MSJ is legit, but it spends a page or two listing what's not protected, and then says that the word "town" appears in both names, and they both use similar object hiearchies. That's a very thin grounds for substantial similarity. I'm not shedding any tears for an awful reskin of an awful game, but couldn't they have listed a couple more damning similarities?

Dynimix
05-15-2014, 01:24 PM
This right here from that article speaks the most:

"If the developers of Wolfenstein 3-D were able to monopolize the idea of the first person perspective of a protagonist winding through levels using guns and other weapons to destroy enemies, then we wouldn't have Halo or Call of Duty."

Daparish81
05-15-2014, 01:25 PM
The court not throwing it out at MSJ is legit, but it spends a page or two listing what's not protected, and then says that the word "town" appears in both names, and they both use similar object hiearchies. That's a very thin grounds for substantial similarity. I'm not shedding any tears for an awful reskin of an awful game, but couldn't they have listed a couple more damning similarities?

I wonder if the Appeals Judges tried both games prior to writing their opinion?

nick7575
05-15-2014, 01:29 PM
I know there's been a lot of speculations on both sides about the merits of this case, aside from that, how long does a case like this normally take to play out?

Jaunt
05-15-2014, 01:33 PM
I wonder if the Appeals Judges tried both games prior to writing their opinion?

I'm not sure there was an appeal, I could only find the original district court ruling. The trial judge emphatically did not play either game.

Regarding case duration - depending on the pockets of the parties, it can go for years. But they can also settle at any time without warning. No one can call how long this'll be.

EccentricFan
05-15-2014, 01:35 PM
On the one hand the case feels a bit week despite all the similarities. On the other hand, Apple's case against Samsung felt far weaker than this, and they still won a settlement. You just never know in cases like this. It's hard to predict when those ruling on the case don't fully understand the subject, and if people are confused by technology, how well do you expect them to grasp nuances of collectable card games?

GatticusFinch
05-15-2014, 01:38 PM
This right here from that article speaks the most:

"If the developers of Wolfenstein 3-D were able to monopolize the idea of the first person perspective of a protagonist winding through levels using guns and other weapons to destroy enemies, then we wouldn't have Halo or Call of Duty."

Not really. All that article is saying is you can't copyright an idea, but you can copyright the execution of that idea. I'll go back to my same example from before--you can't copyright a recipe, but you can copyright a book of recipes. FPS is a recipe, Halo and Call of Duty are books of recipes.