Riot Games: "US Patent System Is Broken"

Riot Games responds to concerns over the trademarks it has over League of Legends spectator mode.

With the recent troubles and trademark battles going on surrounding YouTube, The Banner Saga, and basically everything else involving money, Riot Games patenting some of the camera functions of its spectator mode attracted some negative attention.  The company behind League of Legends does not have a reputation for ill-treating its players, but it is hard to blame anyone for being concerned.  The reasons Riot has given for the patents support their reputation.

We have no interest in using any patents offensively. The US patent system is broken and needs reform. Many gaming companies -- including us -- are getting attacked by patent trolls.

The potential for a third-party to put together a streaming service or product meant to amplify the game's spectating capabilities for the sake of monetization is obvious.  It is one of the most-played video games in the world and also one of the most profitable, so it would be more a matter of when than if without a legal recourse to prevent such acts.

Riot Games has promised their IP can be used for fan-made projects as long as they are given away for free or only earn revenue from advertising.  Given their history of trying to take care of their fans, and the trademarks having been filed more than a year ago, I am optimistic League of Legends will be able to avoid the patent troll stigma. 

Featured Columnist

Writer, gamer, and generally hopeful beneath a veneer of cynicism.

Published Jun. 16th 2020
  • Alex Phoenix
    So they copied wc3 dota, replaced characters with refused ones from wc3 dota forum and now they want to patent crap to preven valve improving dota 2?
    Typical Riot.
  • Bradley Sanders
    Its kinda weird how all of this has popped up so recently. Youtube goes on a gaming hunt and candy crush saga now is trying to own common words like "Candy" and "Saga". I have no idea on the state of the U.S Patent System but to me these things seem to crazy. None of this is really helping anyone just making more and more people furious
  • Wokendreamer
    Featured Columnist
    Absurd trademarking and infringement claims are literally their own industry in the US. There are companies that do nothing -but- own trademarks expressly for the purpose of suing people for using them, with the settlements of those cases being their entire source of income.

    It's a system fairly obviously designed more to be exploitable than to actually protect intellectual property.
  • Katy Hollingsworth
    Former Staff Editor
    Well, it's also important to note that these systems haven't caught up with technology. Our current world has become so technologically advanced so quickly that the legal system has trouble translating into current times.

    Because the system is so outdated, it is incredibly easy to exploit.

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