Magic: the Patent
Here is my
layman's unofficial translation of the Wizards of the Coast/Richard Garfield patent on "Trading card games."
I've translated from Legalese into words that most gamers will recognize. You'll certainly find this much
easier reading. However, if you want to figure out if a particular game is or isn't covered by the patent, you'd
better read the original.
I haven't translated the whole thing, just the part with the "Claims," that part of the patent that says what's
We patent the following:
- 1. A game involving two or more players, with drawing, playing, and discarding cards, and extra cards
to trade, where playing the game is like this:
- each player making decks from the big pile of cards;
- each player drawing their hand; and
- each player taking turns until the game ends. A turn comprises:
- (a) playing cards from your hand onto the table; and
- (b) using cards on the table by:
- (i) picking some; and
- (ii) showing that you picked them by turning them.
- 2. A trading card game, with rules which include: instructions for playing a turn, how many cards are
in your deck and your hand, and a suitcase of cards, where the game goes something like this:
- buy or trade for cards;
- build a deck;
- drawing your hand; and
- playing your turn in order. During a turn you can play or discard one or more cards, like this:
- (a) draw card(s) from your deck:
- (b) activate cards that are on the table by turning them; and
- (c) discarding back down to seven (or whatever the rules say your hand size is).
- 3. Card games, specifically ones where there are lots of identical copies of many different cards,
where the rules include how turns work, how many cards go in your deck and in your hand, and how
to win, where the rules are like this:
- get cards by buying, trading, or winning them as ante;
- build a deck;
- draw your hand; and
- take turns until somebody wins, where a turn includes playing card(s) face up on the table, and
activating card(s) on the table.
- 4. Like Claim 3, where "activating" a card means turning it.
- 5. Like Claim 3, where "activating" a card means turning it 90 degrees.
- 6. Like Claim 3, but specifically including the Untap phase.