Method and apparatus for managing ownership of virtual property

  • US 7,593,864 B2
  • Filed: 04/18/2001
  • Issued: 09/22/2009
  • Est. Priority Date: 04/18/2000
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
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1. A method for managing virtual properties that exist solely in a virtual form within a computer network and that have no physical counterparts, comprising:

  • providing virtual properties configured for use in a computer game operable in a memory of a game server, said virtual properties existing solely in virtual form within a computer network;

    assigning ownership of the virtual properties to a plurality of property owners participating in the computer game, said ownership configured through said computer game such that said property owners are permitted to use said virtual properties in said computer game but are not permitted to possess a digital copy of any of said virtual properties;

    maintaining an inventory of said virtual properties in a centralized database accessible by said property owners via a network connection;

    allowing said property owners to transfer ownership of their respective virtual properties via said network connection; and

    maintaining updated records regarding ownership of said virtual properties in said centralized database wherein said step of allowing said property owners to transfer ownership comprises allowing at least one of said property owners to win one of said virtual properties from another property owner in the course of a game.

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