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I recently read somewhere that loading games (games that the user plays while something is loading) were patented, and that the patent had been denied. I think (bad memory) the patent is from somewhere in 1998. Does anyone know what this patent is, or if it has been denied?

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They are not patented any longer.

Patent number 5718632 was granted in 1998 but expired at the end of 2015. It was widely regarded as a bad or useless patent by developers, but it does not appear that it was ever challenged in court while it was valid.

Here's hoping we see more games while waiting on loading screens soon.

EFF's page on the patent.

  • Was there an equivalent for websites or other materials that are not games? – Confused Apr 15 '16 at 17:47
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    There is no equivalent in other media that I am aware of, but the language used is so vague that developers simply decided that games while loading anywhere weren't worth the legal risk. After all, if the loading screen of your app has a game a judge could decide the whole thing is a game since there is no legal precedent on what % is needed for the definition. – Nathan Rabe Apr 15 '16 at 18:36

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