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My Selected US Patent

  • Assignment for Monday January 24
  • Patent number: 4542903 Hand-held apparatus
  • Company: Nintendo Co.
  • Inventors: Gunpei Yokoi, Kyoto and Satoru Okada, Osaka
  • Filing date: Dec 22, 1982
  • Issue date: Sep 24, 1985
  • Source: Google Patents


  • I chose this patent because I (like every other kid) loved Nintendo growing up. It was interesting to discover that Nintendo's design for a hand-held gaming system was much more advanced than the original Game Boy, created in 1989.

Evaluating my selected patent's unobviousness

  • The Nintendo patent for a hand-held game apparatus is the first of its kind. It is a foldable, hand-held device with two LCD screens, and controller buttons, that allows the user to play games. The only things that relate to the system are a tv game system (Patent number: 4034990) and an electronic digital watch with a folding computer keyboard (Patent number: 4120039). Although the Ninendo system contains parts of these two previous patents, it is so different that the new product is not merely a substitution of the old product. The original requirements for patents required utility and novelty. The case of Hotchkiss vs. Greenwood in 1850 decided that although the new knobs were better than the old ones, the improvement was only because of the substitution of new material. Because this case used substitution as its basis for deciding the validity of the patent, it does not apply to the Nintendo patent.
  • The Nintendo system may be invalid for being a combination of the two existing patents because it contains some of the same features. The digital watch contains an LCD screen and a foldable computer keypad and the tv game system uses similar controls and game programming.