Interest in online lotteries is heating up, so perhaps it's no surprise that industry turf wars are starting to break out. The news is that one peddler of lottery technology is suing another over patent infringement. According to the story, the patent involves "online lottery games that have an optional bonus wager." Now we're not online lottery experts (despite our previous forays into this topic), but we're guessing that the "bonus wager" is an entirely obvious idea that probably shouldn't have received a patent in the first place. It's hard to imagine what the real innovation is here. Giving people the option to gamble more? Applying an old mechanism to online games? On its face, it seems like a frivolous suit, but we wouldn't bet that it gets thrown out. After all, we are living in the age of pointless patent battles.
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