International Game Technology has filed a patent for systems and methods that enhance reel-spin game features. The patent describes a gaming device that offers players the opportunity to activate game enhancement features, such as holding symbols, adding score multipliers, or adding modified symbols, after a predetermined outcome is achieved. The device determines if the outcome corresponds to a near-miss win and presents the offer to the player for a subsequent play of the game. GlobalData’s report on International Game Technology gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on International Game Technology, cashless payment settlement was a key innovation area identified from patents. International Game Technology's grant share as of June 2023 was 1%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

The patent is filed for a gaming device with enhanced features

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: International Game Technology Plc

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A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230206727A1) describes a gaming device that offers a game enhancement feature to players based on near-miss wins. The device includes a display, a processor, and a memory storing instructions for the processor. When a player interacts with the device and achieves a near-miss win, the processor determines that a game enhancement feature is available for the player. The device then offers the player the option to activate the game enhancement feature for the next play of the game. If the player accepts the offer, the game enhancement feature is activated, and the subsequent play of the game begins with the feature enabled.

The patent also describes additional features of the gaming device. It explains that the near-miss win occurs when a first plurality of symbols matches a first winning plurality of symbols, and the number of symbol areas along the line is less than the total number of symbol areas in the array. Prior to determining the near-miss win, the processor retrieves game continuation rules from a memory device. These rules determine whether the game enhancement feature is available to the player. The processor also determines the player's identity and checks if the player is enrolled in a game continuation register. If the player is enrolled, the game continuation rules are retrieved from the register.

The gaming device may include a communications interface to send a request for player information to a subscription server. This server stores subscriber information and provides the game continuation rules for the player. The device may also have a game card reader to determine the player's identity by reading player identification information stored on a game card.

The game played on the device is described as a reel-spin game with reels intersected by a pay line. The near-miss winning outcome consists of one unmatching symbol and the rest matching symbols in the array. Activating the game enhancement feature locks the reels with matching symbols and allows the reel with the unmatching symbol to change during the subsequent play of the game. The game enhancement feature may include adding a modified symbol option, such as a wild symbol or a bonus symbol, to a reel with the unmatching symbol.

In addition to the gaming device, the patent also mentions a server that receives requests for subscriber information about players interacting with separate gaming devices. The server determines if the player is enrolled in a gaming subscription register and sends the subscriber information, including game continuation rules, to enable the game enhancement feature for the player's continued play of the game.

Overall, this patent describes a gaming device that offers a game enhancement feature based on near-miss wins, providing players with an opportunity to modify their win probability for subsequent plays of the game.

To know more about GlobalData’s detailed insights on International Game Technology, buy the report here.


GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.