PokerStars wants to patent Speed Poker

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Speed poker has become the latest phenomenon in the poker world since it allows people to play more hands in less time. The way it works is that when a player folds a hand, they'll be taken to another table with new cards. In short, players don't have to experience unnecessary waiting time with speed poker.

The first site to introduce this variant was Full Tilt when they offered Rush Poker in 2010. The site even managed to get a patent on this version of poker; however, their license was taken away in June of 2011, which encouraged other poker rooms to try and develop their own versions of fast poker.

The first site to finish was PokerStars when they rolled out Zoom Poker in May of 2012. However, Full Tilt contested this despite their inability to run poker games; nothing came of this though because FTP wasn't even able to run real money games anyways. Many thought that this ended the battle for speed poker, but the truth is that it's just beginning.

Major Competition

Taking a cue from Stars, several other poker rooms/networks have developed their own versions of fast poker. Party Poker, Microgaming and the iPoker Network are just a few of the entities that offer versions of speed poker.

Unfortunately, PokerStars doesn't believe these sites/networks have the right to offer fast poker games. After all, Stars purchased Full Tilt Poker and they're trying to patent both Rush and Zoom Poker. Their lawyer, Paul Telford, spoke about this by saying, "Together with our patent attorneys, we are undertaking a full analysis of the Rush Poker patent applications we have acquired. When the time is right, it is our intention to use these patents to protect the inventive elements of the Rush and Zoom products."

Willing to fight

All of the sites that have begun offering speed poker are experiencing a big increase in traffic and revenue. That said, they're not going to readily give up a poker variant that's making lots of money. Instadeal CEO Per Hildebrand is one person who doesn't like what Stars is trying to do as he said, "The funny part is that their lawyers once must have concluded that the product is not patent-able. They launched Zoom and now want to argue it is."

At this point, there's no telling if PokerStars will be able to patent speed poker. But it doesn't appear as if they'll be giving up on their efforts to monopolize this variant.