Sunday, June 25, 2017

Patent cross-licensing agreement signed between Japanese game companies

On June 19 2017, a Japanese video game developer and publisher CAPCOM announced that they have entered into a patent cross-licensing agreement with BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment which covers "online matching", i.e. player matching in online games.

Though the specific terms and conditions of the agreement have been not disclosed, it may be lucrative for BANDAI NAMCO, considering the number of patents of both companies. (Note: BANDAI NAMCO owns 1238 Japanese patents in total which include 9 patents with File Index (FI) "A63F 13/795" (for finding other players; for building a team; for providing a buddy list), while CAPCOM owns 358 patents in total which include a single patent with the same FI, as a result of a quick search on the JPO's free patent search system.)

However, the stock price of CAPCOM increased 2.7% on the day. A media reported that the CAPCOM's press-release put a good offer for the stock market.

CAPCOM stated in the press-release that they "will continue to explore cross-licensing opportunities". If it is admired in the market to obtain patent license to mitigate infringement risk, reduce development cost and focus on offering their core contents, that would be really great.

For your information, CAPCOM filed a complaint of patent infringement against KOEI TECMO in 2014 for more than JPY 980 million (approximately $8.8 million) in damages and injunction against sales, and it is pending in court as far as I know.

[Related News]
November 28 2017 Capcom announced a patent cross-licensing agreement signed with Colopl, a Japanese mobile and online game company, for patents relating to multiplayer functionality. Looks Capcom is active in licensing negotiation.

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