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Aristocrat Slot Machines Infringe Patents, IGT Claims

Nov. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Aristocrat Leisure Ltd., the world’s second-biggest maker of slot machines, infringed patents with its Viridian WS machines, International Game Technology, the largest manufacturer, claimed in a lawsuit.

International Game Technology, based in Reno, Nevada, filed the lawsuit yesterday in Federal Court in Santa Ana, California, claiming Aristocrat willfully infringed and continues to infringe two patents on technology used to authenticate gaming software. A copy of the claim wasn’t immediately available on the federal court’s web site.

“The lawsuit comes after failed attempts to resolve the IP disputes between Aristocrat and IGT,” International Game Technology said in a Nov. 15 statement.

International Game Technology and Sydney-based Aristocrat are involved in an on-going dispute over intellectual property, Aristocrat said in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange. Aristocrat sued International Game Technology in the U.S. and Australia for patent infringement and International Game Technology’s claim “appears” to be part of that dispute, Aristocrat said.

Aristocrat received “informal notification” of the suit and has yet to be served with the claim, the company said. The current intention is to defend against the claim, Aristocrat said.

Aristocrat introduced the Viridian WS machines in April, following up on its original Viridian cabinet. The company sells gaming machines in more than 90 countries, according to its website.

Aristocrat had net income of A$49.3 million ($48.6 million) in the six months ended in June, with Chief Executive Officer Jamie Odell calling conditions in most markets “very difficult,” as U.S. and Australian casinos scaled back purchases of new machines.

The case is: IGT v Aristocrat Technologies Inc. 8:10-cv-01748-jvs. U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Santa Ana).

To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Schneider in Sydney at jschneider5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Douglas Wong at dwong19@bloomberg.net

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