A federal jury sided with four companies that claimed Scientific Games had come after them with sham lawsuits that were initiated in an attempt to keep a rival’s automatic card shuffling device from hitting the market.
The jury originally awarded the companies a sum of $105 million after the verdict was announced but U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly tripled that amount.
The judge also ordered Scientific Games to pay for the plaintiff’s legal fees. Scientific Games has until September 5th to file any post-trial motions.
Shuffle Tech slapped Scientific Games with an anti-trust suit in 2014. This suit was filed in response to a patent-infringement lawsuit that was filed in 2012 by SHFL Entertainment which was later absorbed by Scientific Games. The 2012 lawsuit was filed against DigiDeal Corp, Aces Up Gaming and Poydras-Talrik Holdings who worked with Shuffle Tech to launch an automatic card shuffler. The jury’s verdict initially called for Scientific Games to pay $45 million to Shuffle Tech, $25 million to Poydras-Talrik Holdings, $15 to Aces Up and $20 million to DigiDeal but those numbers were tripled by Kennelly.
A spokesperson for Scientific Games said that the company thinks that the jury reached a wrong decision and the company will seek a review on both the finding of liability and the amount of the award. Despite the verdict which was announced in the middle of the day, Scientific Games finished the day up .14% on the Nasdaq. Stifel gaming analyst Brad Boyer doesn’t think that investors need to panic as it could years before any cash changes hands.
Card Shuffling Machine
The card-shuffling machine that was the focus of this issue came about through collaboration between Shuffle Tech and DigiDeal who intended to market it to casinos. The device was introduced to the public at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas. Shuffle Tech planned to produce 800 shufflers in the first year and 1,200 each year after that with a profit of around $7,500 on each unit.
Shuffle Tech’s attorney claimed that Shuffle Tech is a small company with the ability to create a great product but they didn’t have the resources to defend themselves against a sham lawsuit. He went on to say that Shuffle Tech’s intellectual property was sold to another gaming company and that Shuffle Tech now produces automatic card shufflers for regular consumers that can use them in home games. The attorney closed by saying that Shuffle Tech has essentially been forced out of the gaming industry by Scientific Games.