Virtual Pet Patents
Virtual Pet Design & Consulting Services
If you are interested in wireless virtual pets for mobile phones, please see our Wireless Virtual Pets for Mobile Phones page.
Apparatus for Displaying Images of Living Things to Show Growing and/or Moving of the Living Thing
Assigned to Casio Computer. This was one of the first patents to discuss how to visually create growth stages for virtual pets. The primary example in the patent is a virtual plant that requires water, light and manure. It is an early example of the use of symbols (water, light and manure) to represent selectable virtual pet care actions.
Electronic Battle Game Playing Apparatus with Facial Montage Generation
Assigned to Casio Computer describes the electronics and step procedures behind an early hand held fighting game.
Swimming Toy Fish Aquarium Having Magnetic Drive System for Magnetically Driving the Toy Fish in the Aquarium
Assigned to Masudaya Corporation of Japan. Two rows of rotating magnets below the aquarium move virtual fish.
Assigned to Fujita Limited discusses how virtual creatures react in real time with users including diurnal (time of day) and other activities. It captured the concept of time going forward in the life of the pet, even when the device was shut off for long periods of time. The pet still needed sleep, food, etc even if it was not being cared for.
Disease Simulation System and Method Assigned to Health Hero Network. This virtual pet helps children understand how to treat and deal with chronic diseases. It is further developed in patent #6,167,362
Simulation Device for Fostering a Virtual Creature
Assigned to Bandai. This is a linking (coupling) "Tamagotchi like" virtual pet (Mesutchi and Osutchi). It called users when it needed attention (beeping) and had the ability to "couple". Two pets were physically connected together for reproduction. The new personality of the new pet was based personalities of the coupled pets. The patent cites our web site as reference material. Filed 1997.
Apparatus and Method of Communicating Between Electronic Games
Assigned to Tiger Electronics teaches how small handheld games can communicate with each other through a communications port and also be linked to a PC via a serial port to communicate with a central processing computer or a web site. This could allow the pets to be reprogrammed, unlock hidden features, interactive play and the logging of record scores.
Controlling Personality Manifestations by Objects in a Computer Assisted Animation Environment
An independent inventor teaches "encapsulating" a virtual character's identity as a software "object" so the character's speech, actions, morals, movements are consistent with the intention of the designer.
Process for Producing and Controlling Animated Facial Representations
An independent inventor describes the use motion capture equipment to develop high and low resolution facial expresion data from humans, dogs, fish and other animals for use in virtual games.
Doll Simulating Adaptive Infant Behavior
Independent inventor describes a doll that responds to the level of care given to it and cites several other hi-tech dolls in the references.
Toy Character With Electronic Activities-Oriented Game Unit
Independent inventor claims use of a keychain pet cabled to a stuffed animal (like a teddy bear). You take care of the keychain pet to make the stuffed pet feel good.
Creature Animation and Simulation Technique
Two independent inventors describe a means to model body joints to make virtual creatures appear more life-like on a computer in real time.
Aquatic Landscape Ornamental Device
Independent inventor in Taiwan describes a magnetic means to make aquarium plants more "life-like". Magnets cause them to appear swimming and wriggling in the water.
Motivational Tool for Adherence to Medical Regimen
Assigned to Health Hero Network, Inc.. This virtual pet helps children understand how to treat and deal with chronic diseases (diabetes, ashtma, obesity, hypertension) and adults to deal with similar diseases as well as coronary artery function, panic disorder, and nicotine addiction. It even allows the setting of target variables by the patient (their own goals). The patent is lengthy, well written and very informative. It also cites information from our web site.
Video Game Device and Storage Medium on Which Video Game Program is Stored
Assigned to Sega Enterprises. This patent speaks of inheritance probabilities of a plurality of virtual pet characters. It references Mindscape Entertainment's Creatures pets.
Method and Apparatus for Processing Attached e-mail Data and Storage Medium for Processing Program for Attached Data
Assigned to Sony Corporation concerns the use of a virtual pet training device that helps beginners learn how to send email. The specifically mention the use of "internet TV" boxes (boxes that sit on-top TV's and allow internet access).
Nurturing Simulation Apparatus for Virtual Creatures
Assigned to Bandai. Tamagotchi patent focusing on the hardware (the "egg") filed in 1997.
Simulation Device for Fostering a Virtual Creature
Assigned to Bandai This patent focuses on the pets ability to detect "a call from an external source". Pet outcome depends on timely sound input (voice) by the user. Filed in 1997.
Aggregating and Pooling Weight Loss Information in a Communication System with Feedback
Assigned to Health Pro Network teaches the concept of a weight loss group reporting individual progress to a central point and then receiving overall aggregate feedback via a virtual pet or similar device.
Control System for Controlling Object Using Pseudo-Emotions and Pseudo-Personality Generation in the Object assigned to Yamaha and autonomous device behaves adaptively to user. One application specifically mentioned is robot pets.
Game Machine Apparatus and Method with Enhanced Time-Related Display of Pokemon-Type Characters Assigned to Nintendo. This covers the time components (including time zone) of the Gamebody Pokemon game.
Game System and Storage Device Readable by Computer
Assigned to Konami Co. Ltd. in Japan describes and breeding and competition game. The abstract shows Pikachu (a Pokemon character).
Client Apparatus, Image Display Controlling Method Shared Virtual Space Providing Apparatus and Method, and Program Providing Medium
Assigned to Sony Corporation teaches a shared virtual space in which several users can share and breed the same virtual life object and the use of VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language).
Game Machine and Storage Medium Therefor
Assigned to Nintendo and covers the Pokeman / Pocket Monster game for a gameboy "cartridge" type device.
Client Apparatus, Image Display Controlling Method, Shared Virtual Space Providing Apparatus and Method, and Program Providing Medium
Assigned to Sony Corporation is an avatar patent, but the specifications section provides some detailed coverage of the development of virtual pets.
Virtual Electronic Pet and Use Therewith
Independent inventors propose virtual pets having additional behaviours if the user can guess the name of the behaviour within a certain time limit.
Virtual Element Selection Device and Method Using Neural Network
Assigned to NEC Corporation indications from users are converted by a neural network into a new element of virtual life. The new element displaces the old one to make it possible to select new elements which reflect the users intentions.
Hand-held Game With Visual Display and Feedback
Independent inventors bring some of the user feedback features of virtual pets to rotating toys like tops and yoyos.
Relative Positioning and Virtual Objects for Mobile Devices
Assigned to Nokia Corporation teaches the use of GPS devices on real people to play games with each other based on physical positions via WAP or similar mobile devices.
Interactive Game Apparatus with Game Play Controlled by User Modifiable Toy
Assigned to Nearlife. Three dimensional physical toy (like a fish) composed of attachments (fins, tail, etc) is connected to a computer. You can interact with the fish on the computer and it reflects the components used in the physical construction of the fish. Some components have sensors to detect motion, bending, etc.
Information Processing Apparatus, Information Processing Method and Information Providing Medium
Assigned to Sony Corporation covers virtual reality pets and avatars with object collision detection.
Apparatus and Method for Controlling Image Display, and Recording Medium Storing Program for Controlling Image Display
Assigned to Cassio Computer is a PDA pet with individual characteristics determined by the name you select for the pet. They use a Hampster as an example, resembling the popular Happy House Virtual Hampster downloadable pet.
Method and Apparatus for Recording and Presenting Life Stories
Assigned to Making Everlasting Memories, Ltd. is predominately targeted as a tombstone enhancement (view and listen to media of a persons life) but can also be used for deceased pets.
Low Cost Brushing Behavior Reinforcement Toothbrush
Independent inventor proposes toothbrush that rewards proper brushing with a virtual pet game. Part of virtual pet's life is dependent on proper brushing.
Information processing apparatus and method, information processing system and program providing medium
Assigned to Sony. Part of a series of patents and patent applications from Sony covering aviatar and virual pet "shared spaces".
Method for controlling character behavior in video garmes, video game machine, and computer-readable recording medium on which video game program is recorded.
Assigned to Konami Co. Ltd. This patent extensively discusses ways to control virtual pet behavior and includes many excellent references. Players interact with a virtual pet and it takes on a temperment based on your interaction.
Patent Applications (not yet granted)
Data Communications Device and Method of Processing Transmitted Data Invented by Mitsuru Minakuchi, Matsafumi Hirata and Tudahide Shibao all of Japan. Radio phone captures virtual pets of several types including mice, rabbits, turtles, raccoons and giraffes. Users care for these wireless pets and can also view them on TV. Pets are distributed in local areas by independent groups (such as at a sports stadium or in a mall) and can contain advertising features.
Pedometer With Game Mode
Assigned to Nintendo. This pedometer attempts to move childern away from the games boxes and out for walk. Based on a Gameboy, it counts your steps and they are given as a present to your virtual pet. You have to walk to keep your virtual pet happy. An interesting twist for our sedentary youth. The filed it 26 Feb 2001 and may have paid for early publication to get it published in a little over 4 months. Early publication is used to warn potential infringers.
Breeding Simulation Apparatus for Virtual Creatures
Invented by Akihiro Yoki. The device is similar to the Digimon keychain pet, but is not yet assigned. It is a continuation in part of patent 6,213,871 (a Bandai patent) filed in Feb. 1997.
Assigned to Silverlit Toys. Computerized toy system adopts different attitudes and positions. Enough limbs and joints are used to provide natural and smooth movement. The skin appearance may be fur or plush type body. The abstract graphic shows two robotic dogs.
Interactive Toy, Reaction Behavior Pattern Generating Device and Reaction Behavior Pattern Generating Method
Assigned to Tomy Company. Abstract shows a robotic dog. Teaches methods of generating behaviors based on a score of level of attention and care paid to the pet.
Learning / Growing System Using Living Goods and Method Thereof
Assigned to LG Electronics, Inc. The toy itself connects to the internet. Learning and growing experiences are supplied by real goods (cheetos, nabisco, cokes, health club membership). Will be financed by banner ads from real-life goods.
Robotic and Action Deciding Method for Robot
Invented by Tsuyoshi Takagi. Robotic pet has a decision process allowing it to react differently to the same input from different people (users).
Information Gathering and Personalization Techniques
Invented by Mark Bloomfield and Tanya Cheyne (both of London). Small device resembling a keychain pet is used to collect information on user and alert user when they are in a specific place at a specific time (come in and buy theatre tickets). Interface is a virtual character that is trained by user to participate on user's behalf in virtual games.
Storage medium, robot, information processing device and electronic pet system.
Group of Japanese inventors propose creating an IC (spirit) card. Small card basically stores the soul of a virtual pet. The spirit card can be moved between various devices.
Virtual Reality Pet
Independent inventor design patent on the Octopet keychain pet, a well known 8-in-1 pet.
Hand Held Electric Game
Assigned to Nintendo. Nintendo Game Boy patent.
Electronic game housings
Assigned to Tiger Electronics. Keychain pet housings. The last two have feet.
Assigned to Tomy Company. Small virtual aquarium.
Robot Dogs & Furby Patents
Polson Enterprises Research ServicesWe have been working with virtual pets since mid 1996. and assist in the development of virtual pets in all formats. We provide technical, market and patent information support, identify potential partners, review pet designs and maintain a vast library of virtual pet materials in all media forms (wireless, mechanical pets, keychain pets, java pets, online pets, CD rom pets, robots, vp downloads, game cartridges, board games, playing cards, etc).
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