29th August 2007, 4:36 PM
Poker at: PartyPoker
Sorry mods for posting a new thread. I scanned the other threads and couldn't find something like this and I didn't want it to get buried as I think it's important for people to know. Feel free to move it.
No Online Gambling Site is Immune: Bodog is Just the Beginning
Bodog seemingly had lost its domain name on Tuesday thanks to a winning judgment in a patent infringement case. But Bodog may just be the beginning. Scratch that, there have been other online gambling sites targeted and more will be soon it seems.
That's because a retired contractor, Mel Molnick, 63, claims to own a method patent that governs live, electronic betting from a remote location. In other words, the process by which just about every Internet gambling site does business. He is also CEO of the Home Gambling Network.
Already Molnick has gone after Dr. Stanley Ho, the Macau gaming mogul who also operates a long time online casino website out of Antigua.
In the Stanley Ho matter, U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks in Las Vegas denied HGN's request for a preliminary injunction that would have shut down Ho's Internet gambling site -- and suggested the defendants were more likely to prevail in the litigation.
Hicks also dismissed most of the defendants in the case, including Ho and his Macau casino operating company, saying the court didn't have proper jurisdiction because they lacked connections to Nevada. The only remaining defendant in the case is Caribbean Online Ltd., the Ho-controlled company that operates the Internet casino.
i2 Corp, the parent company of the Home Gambling Network, controls a patent covering live casino games broadcast over the Internet for gambling purposes. The patent specifically applies to games involving electronic betting and payments.
Hicks said at the time that Ho's company was more likely to prevail in the lawsuit, since winnings are sent to players by check, not electronic transfer.
"When I first got my patent, people said, 'You must be living in a spaceship. You're a crazy old man,' " Molnick told the Las Vegas Sun.
A method patent is a controversial and often litigated type of patent that covers a process rather than a particular product. Molnick's patent was filed with the U.S. Patent Office in 1995 and published in 1998. The patent has since been approved in other parts of the world, including Asia and Europe.
Molnick has had some success with his patent by reaching pretrial settlements with several Web casinos, according to court documents.
"I'm going after the big boys now," Molnick said. "These people have made billions off my patent, and now they're going to have to pay."
In 2006, a federal judge in Las Vegas rejected Sportingbet's motion to dismiss the suit based on a lack of jurisdiction, saying there was enough evidence that Sportingbet does business in the United States, according to the Las Vegas Sun. The ruling, however, merely allowed the case to proceed and did not delve into its merits.
A Sportingbet spokesman declined to comment and referred a call to the company's overseas attorney, who was unavailable for comment.
Patent experts say the ruling could potentially expose the business practices of an Internet gambling company that, like many others, makes a large chunk of its money off American gamblers.
"We are not negotiating with him...he can have the domains...we were up and running again in 12 hours and we have no intention of rewarding anyone for trying to use the US legal system to steal," said a technical representative for Bodog.
By Tuesday afternoon, Bodog had quickly come up with a plan to ensure current customers could access the website. Using the new domain name www.newbodog.com customers could enter their accounts and place bets just like with the Bodog.com website.