Users can generate and submit their own playing cards for use in a collectible card game environment as described in the patent:
A disclosed method provides a user access to an Internet-accessible site through which he or she may create a custom card for use in a collectible card game that is acceptable under the rules thereof, submit this card for approval by the gaming community, and earn a royalty through distribution and sale of this card. Numerous disclosed methods allow revenue generation in connection with user-created cards while also allowing disclosed methods of preventing piracy of such cards.
First, a user registers with a company through the process depicted in FIG. 42. A user may be required to purchase a noninfringement bond 4205 and/or indemnify the company against infringement liability if the user wishes to submit new card designs or participate in financial transactions, since the company will have no way of knowing whether the designs submitted by the user are violative of the rights of other intellectual property owners. Thereafter, a user follows the process depicted in FIG. 43A with reference to FIGS. 44 and 45 in order to create and submit a card for approval by the relevant card game community. If the user attempts to create a card that is too strong 4408 according to the power rating assigned to this card through the process in FIG. 45, the user’s submission will be automatically rejected. This process minimizes the likelihood of creation of a “killer card” that would throw off the balance of the game and thereby make it uninteresting.
The community can approve or disapprove the user’s proposed card through the process depicted in FIG. 43B. The community approval process can be done by a one-person/one-vote approach, or individual users in the community can be granted special “authority weighting” that causes their votes to be counted more heavily than the votes of other members of the community. An authority weighting can be based on the length of time that a user has been a registered user, the number of card designs that the user has submitted that were later selected as an official card, or some other criterion. The score of a new card design is calculated either with 4313 or without 4315 authority weighting. If the proposed card, which has already survived the process depicted in FIG. 44, receives enough votes to meet or exceed a predetermined threshold, it is approved 4317 and automatically becomes an officially sanctioned card. Otherwise, the card fails to become approved 4316.
If the card is approved 4303, the card is added 4305 to the cards database (see FIG. 50) and made available to the public 4306 through the distribution process depicted in FIG. 46 The card is then used 4307, along with other cards created by the company or by other users, in playing games.
A card distribution process is depicted in FIG. 46. Once a user-submitted card has been approved, the card creator logs into the company website 4601 and sets a price 4602 at which copies of the card design created by the user are to be sold. The card creator then uploads his or her logo or other branding graphic 4603 to be included on copies of the card design (e.g., 3909 in FIG. 39). The card creator then sets the total quantity of cards to be made available and other criteria, such as whether the card will be made available through download from the company’s website or printed in advance 4604.
If the card creator decides to make the card available through download 4605, a card purchaser can log into the company website 4606, upload his or her own branding seal 4607, purchase blank sheets for printing cards on 4608, download card printing software 4609, and purchase the card 4610.
The card image file is then created, including the barcode image of the unique serial number of the card 4611 to be printed, as well as the branding seal of the card creator and the branding seal of the card “pooler”, i.e., the original purchaser of this particular card function. The resulting image file is then provided to the user for printing through the card printing software 4612 previously downloaded. The user prints the card 4613 and notifies the company that the card has printed successfully 4614, at which time the card and the registered user are added to the official registry database 4616. If the card is later sold 4617, the new owner updates the official card registry 4618.
If the card creator decides to go for a print rather than download approach, the cards are printed in the quantity specified 4619 by the creator, and typically, the creator is charged for the price of the print run 4622. The card is sold through retail channels 4621, and a royalty is paid to the card creator on each sale 4623; this is essentially a consignment model. Whenever a new purchaser buys a card through this model, the new owner registers that ownership in the official registry 4624.
This entry will be expanded when time permits.