BUSINESS

Poker Channel French deal; IGT patent win upheld; Pwin wins typosquatting fight

TAGs: bally technologies, bwinparty, France, IGT, international game technology, Poker Channel

igt-poker-channel-pwinThe Poker Channel has signed a distribution agreement with France Telecom that will expand the gaming broadcaster’s reach to more than 30m TV subscribers across Europe. Already available to French viewers via Alice, Bouygues Telecom’s Bbox, SFR’s Neufbox, Iliad Group’s Freebox and Numericale, the Poker Channel will now be available to all Orange TV subscribers as well. The network also extended its deal with Portugal Telecom to make the Poker Channel accessible via MEO Online.

Speaking of France, while online gambling companies love nothing better than to publish glowing stats on their expanding mobile markets, an Ipsos MediaCT study of French internet users paints a dimmer picture. The favorite apps of French smartphone and tablet users are social networks, practical info, e-mail, streaming video, news, live events and online radio broadcasts. The least favorite? E-commerce and gambling. The war ain’t quite won just yet, people…

It is if you’re slot machine maker International Game Technology (IGT), which just declared victory in a patent-infringement appeal involving Bally Technologies. A lower court had ruled that Bally infringed on two of IGT’s patents for how gaming machines pay out bonuses, and on Oct. 6, a US federal court of appeals agreed. A district court will now decide how much Bally will have to ante up to make things right. It was only last week that IGT announced it had settled a similar patent dispute with Aristocrat Leisure Ltd., however that deal resulted in an agreement to cross license the two companies’ respective patents.

Bwin.party (Pwin) has won two separate battles with cybersquatters. In June and July, Pwin filed complaints with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) after discovering that a Swiss company, Interagentur AG, and a Ukrainian company, Cifagro Enterprises, had registered domain names similar to Bwin.com. Pwin claimed that these domains (bwion.com, bwlin.com, bwsin.com) were intentionally similar to its own, and thus qualified as bad faith ‘typosquatting’ (intended to garner traffic to pay-per-click pages from fumble-fingered gamblers). The WIPO Panels assembled to judge the issue concluded that Pwin had a case and the domains were ordered transferred into Pwin’s control. (Wait until they learn Pwin.com is an actual functioning site!)

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