Australia-based slot machine maker Ainsworth Game Technology Ltd has become the latest casino equipment supplier to reach a patent cross-licensing deal with casino and lottery equipment maker International Game Technology Plc (IGT).
A short press announcement from IGT on Wednesday gave no detail of how the deal would work in practice.
“We have reached industry-wide momentum with the cross-licensing of IGT patented game features,” Michael Prescott, IGT senior vice president and general counsel for North America gaming and interactive, said in a statement included in the announcement.
He added: “We’re very pleased to add Ainsworth to the impressive list of suppliers who have worked with us to establish an intellectual property pool that can help drive the gaming industry’s collective innovation.”
IGT has previously announced a number of cross-licensing deals with market rivals, including Scientific Games Corp, Aristocrat Leisure Ltd, Everi Holdings Inc, Aruze Gaming and Konami Gaming Inc. The latest deal was made public last week, when the firm revealed a tie-up with U.S.-based AGS LLC, a company that designs, develops and manufactures gaming products.
Investment analysts have previously noted that the casino technology sector has traditionally been riven by patent disputes and lawsuits that eat up valuable time and money.
“As we position Ainsworth for future growth, we are pleased to have reached this cross-licensing agreement with IGT,” Danny Gladstone, Ainsworth’s chief executive, was quoted as saying in the IGT press release.
He added: “It will provide us with access to an industry-wide game feature patent portfolio that we can leverage to enhance our market offerings with games that excite and engage players.”
Austrian gaming equipment maker and operator Novomatic AG is in the process of acquiring a majority stake in Ainsworth. The closing of the transaction is currently expected for year-end 2017, according to Novomatic.
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