June 25, 2024 2 min read

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Court of Appeals Sides with US Betting Operators in Infringement Case

The Federal Circuit ruled in favor of operators in a lawsuit filed by Beteiro over alleged GPS patent infringement

A few years ago, Beteiro filed lawsuits against a number of leading sports betting operators in the United States. The legal action involved BetMGM, DraftKings, bet365 and FanDuel among others with lawsuits filed both in 2021 and 2022.

In its legal challenge, Beteiro claimed GPS patent infringement by the leading betting operators. Beteiro’s primary issue was related to the usage of GPS technology to verify the location from which a specific mobile gambling application is being used.

Arnold & Porter, the legal defense of BetMGM in the lawsuit previously secured a win in the US District Court for the District of New Jersey. Under the decision, the operator was granted a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), “on grounds that the asserted patents were invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101 as directed towards unpatentable subject matter,” as explained by Arnold & Porter.

This wasn’t a single ruling as other operators secured similar wins in their fight against Beteiro over GPS patent infringement cases. With that in mind, the company filed an appeal with the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Court of Appeals Rules in Favor of the Betting Operators

In the latest chapter of the legal battle led by Beteiro, the Federal Circuit ruled in favor of the sports betting operators, effectively reaffirming the lower courts’ decisions. On Friday, a ruling that saw the Federal Circuit side with the operators explained: “In the end, Beteiro’s claims amount to nothing more than the practice of an abstract idea using conventional (even as of 2002) computer equipment, including GPS on a mobile phone.”

Moreover, the recent decision read: “Such claims are not eligible for patent under current Section 101 jurisprudence.” This otherwise means that an abstract idea about the use of a “generic computer” cannot be interpreted into “a patent eligible invention.”

A key point in the latest ruling that sided with the major US betting operators revolved around insufficient information about the precise usage of GPS technology by gaming applications. “Nowhere does the specification describe any difference between how GPS would be equipped on a mobile phone and how it would be equipped on any of the other described conventional computers,” explained the Federal Circuit.

Arnold & Porter, the firm representing BetMGM, acknowledged the importance of the latest ruling. The law firm deemed the latest decision as a “significant victory,” explaining that it sets a precedent for online gaming.

Journalist

Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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