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No Man’s Algorithm

No Man’s Algorithm

With the release date of ‘No Man’s Sky’ round the corner, the Dutch company Genicap is alleging infringement by the highly anticipated game creators.

It all started with professor Johan Gielis, in the early 2000’s created a geometric transformation formula. This formula helps to create a number of naturalistic shapes and curves with very few parameters. Thus, it is popularly dubbed as “SUPERFORMULA”. In short super formula may help us create various natural and realistic shapes and figures.  Prof. Gielis had received his patent in the European Union in 2002 and the US grant in 2009 and has a total of 8 patents under his belt for the same. Genicap was founded by the professor to monetize his formula.

Hello Games had announced the release No Man’s Sky in the year 2013. It is an exploration and survival game in an infinitely generated galaxy.

The basic question pertaining to this alleged infringement is whether the No Man’s Sky is actually a violation of the patent. The EU patenting system very categorically mentions that “discoveries, scientific theories, and mathematical methods” are not patentable, even the US patent system mentions that “disembodied mathematical algorithms and formula” are not patentable.  The practical applicability through claims is in fact patentable. Prof. Gielis’s patent in fact in its claims mentions the possible use in graphics programs (e.g., 2D, 3D, etc.); CAD software; finite element analysis programs; wave generation programs; or other software, but it doesn’t mention the use in game design.

With Genicap intending to settle down for a gigantic license fee days before the release of the much anticipated game, the creator of the game, Sean Murray, denied the allegations in a recent tweet on the 23rd July, 2016.

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