A confusing result on the copyright lawsuit from Triple Town to Yeti Town

A semi-reasonable viewer and player would have little trouble calling Yeti Town as a blatent.rip-off of Triple Town with some slight cosmetic modifications of UI .

Triple Town
Yeti Town

But when we need to assign a legal ruling with damages, then the logic starts falling apart under the parsing.  Sort of like examining Newtonian physics at the sub-atomic level.

The most disturbing thing is that at a certain level this is totally obvious that Yeti Town is a blatent rip-off of Triple Town but then when you try to break it down to components:

  • 6x6 grid
  • randomly moving blocking elements
  • placement and combinable game pieces

... then could these decomposed elements have been derived from other existing game systems?

Do you have to patent the combination of unique Game Design elements?  This would have a chilling effect on games and the possible Patent Trolling on a level that we could only imagine in nightmares.
Link #1: http://terranova.blogs.com/terra_nova/2012/09/a-few-random-thoughts-on-triple-town.html
Link #2: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericgoldman/2012/09/27/recent-ruling-in-triple-townyeti-town-game-app-dispute-provides-cautionary-lessons-for-both-ea-and-zynga/