After recently acquiring rival SHFL Entertainment Inc., gaming device maker Bally Technologies saved itself the trouble of getting involved in the former’s legal dispute with Macau-based gaming supplier LT Game Ltd. That’s because Macau’s Court of First Instance acquitted the Macau subsidiary of SHFL regarding the patent for its Rapid Baccarat product.
That’s a big break for SHFL Entertainment and a sigh of relief for Bally Technologies, both of whom can now move forward with the latter’s $1.3 billion acquisition of the former now that its lengthy and exhaustive legal problems with LT Game and its head Jay Chun is behind them.
In a statement released shortly after the Court of First Instance’s decision, SHFL executive vice president of Asia Ken Jolly reiterated SHFL’s stance that it’s Rapid Baccarat solution did not infringe on LT Game’s patent. “We are very pleased that the court has found no patent infringement by SHFL Macau,” he said. “We have consistently maintained that our Rapid Baccarat solution does not infringe Mr Chun’s patent.”
The problems between the two companies have gone on since 2009 when Chun went on the offensive, claiming that SHFL’s Rapid Baccarat product infringed on one of his patents involving multi-terminal systems combining electronic betting with a live dealer and live baccarat. SHFL vehemently denied intentionally stepping on LT Game’s toes, saying that its Rapid Baccarat solution was of its own creation.
The whole brouhaha between the two companies took a weird turn last year when LT Game secured an injunction against SHFL, forcing the latter to cover up machines that LT Game deemed to have infringed on its patent. It’s been a see-saw battle between SHFL and LT Game until the Court of First Instance finally made its verdict, acquitting the former of any infringement wrongdoings involving its Rapid Baccarat solution.
It must be said that Jay Chun and LT Game can still appeal the decision so don’t be surprised if this case actually drags on longer than anybody would like. But for this round, it’s SHFL 10, LT Game 9.