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The Video Game Newsroom Time Machine is a weekly retro gaming podcast in which we travel back in time to see what was making headlines 40, 30, and 20 years ago in the arcade, video game, and computer gaming business and interview industry veterans. 

We try to put those events into historical context to understand how the industry of today came to be. 

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Sep 26, 2022

50 years ago, television manufacturer Magnavox launched a revolutionary new device that allowed users, for the first time, to manipulate the images on their home television sets. 

How did this technological wonder come to be?  How did its development evolve?  Find out with our own resident Warden of the Department of Corrections, Ethan Johnson.





August 31, 1966 - Baer conceptualizes the TV Gaming Display.

    -He was supposedly in New York and was meeting somebody before going back up to New Hampshire.


September 1, 1966 - “Disclosure Backup DATA - TVGD” is drafted by Ralph Baer, witnessed by Bob Solomon.

    -Game types: Action games, board games, artistic games, instructional games, board chase games

    -”Example: ‘Steering’ a wheel to control random drift of color (hue) over the CRT face”

    -Pumping game mentioned

    -”Bar, line, or dot generation - players control selective blanking, blinking, color coding of lines, bars, dots, fields via generator”


September 6, 1966 - TV Mode Data Entry Device, witnessed by Bob Solomon, Baer mocks up a schematic of the basic technical idea of driving signals to the screen.

    -”Etch-a-sketch” drawing gives misleading impression of the vision of the system at present


December 1966 - Mocking up of screen splitting


December 20, 1966 - Herbert Campman approves the exploration of TVGD, “NBDA - Low Cost TV Data Entry Devices”

    -$2000 for development, $500 for materials


January 2, 1967 - Robert Solomon joins “TVTY - NBD”

    -His mockups show the screen split into even grids via an overlay or of two lines crossing each other like a cursor


February 6, 1967 - Robert Tremblay writes a schematic.


February 11, 1967 - “Discussion w/ R. Solomon Future planning - TV Gaming”

    -Heathkit generator being used for driving objects, “to allow generation of a vertical bar, movable across the TV CRT face, & adjustable color”

    -Modulator is set to Channel 3

    -Next objective is to split the tv into two independent colors

    -Pumping contest mentioned


February 12, 1967 - “List of possible games” using horizontal split of the screen, best illustration of their possibilities at this time

    -Scoring, Bucket Filling, Game Timer, Skill Games

    -Joystick controller sketched


February 17, 1967 - Bill Harrison sketches up electronics for the gun controller, “Odd-Even TV Game”


May 2, 1967 - Harrison writes up a spec on how TV color and video signals work

    -Indicates them going back to square one

    -Subsequent days see a number of schematics


May 4, 1967 - “TV Gaming”, illustration of split screen idea

-“One major problem exist due to the inability to pass a 60 cps square through the picture tube. [...] This is at least partially due to poor low frequency response of the Heath IG-62.”


May 8, 1967 - “TV Generator” custom hardware for running through the Heath generator.

    -Tested first on a RCA Model GH 560W


May 9, 1967 - Various game elements are toyed around with

    -Diagrams for two pots to act as a “joystick” and a different implementation of the pumping game

    -”1 Sound, 2 Pot [Circle drawing] Color Wheel, 3 Bars Vert & Hor”


May 10, 1967 - “Misc. Ideas for T.V.G.” by Bill Rusch to Ralph Baer

    -1. Picture Drawing, pots or joysticks plus buttons for choosing color, “Need memory scheme, of course”

    -2. Car Steering, movable road, top down or first person

    -3. “Same as 2, but skiing”

    -4. Chase Game, “Use ships, dots ot probably best two old “dog fighting” type WWI planes… or, up-to-date, plane and missile… or ship and torpedo.”

    -5. Maze Game, “if hits line of maze, “rat” disappears and reappears back at the starting point”

    -6. Rotating Spiral, “Maybe have 2nd player control instantaneous rotation speed”

    -7. Racing game, disappearing if touching bounds, “if car in rear runs into car in front, rear offending car disappears and other one wins”

    -8. “Roulette” (in quotations), with arrow at the top of the wheel

    -9. “Baseball” Guessing Game, different colored strips, “Batter selects strip in which bat will appear. Pitch pushes “pitch” button, bell rings and ball appears on screen [...] If both appear in same strip, “HIT” Sign flashes [...] otherwise, “Strike” lights up.”

    -10. Baseball “Skill Game” #1, “As above, except “ball” stays on for brief period only”

    -11. “Map” Game - 1 or 2 Players, “”Teacher” (Player #1 or the “machine”) pushes button which lights up one state and starts timer displayed on screen”, timed with right and wrong buttons

    -12. “Tracer Bullet Shooting Game”, player adjust briefly flashing bullets with the joystick to hit a plane then timer stops, “Could also make into single player game by having planes’ movements controlled automatically and semi-randomly”

    -13. “Baseball Skill Game” #2, selectable skill levels, pitching game Holy Baseballs, Batman!”

    -14. Skeet Shooting #1, similar to plane game

    -15. ESP Game, players try to guess each other’s numbers represented by colors (showing that they couldn’t do alphanumerics)

    -16. “Hares and Hounds” Game, hares are numerous and small and move quickly whereas hounds are large and move slowly

    -17. “Bullfight”, same as above with singular dots and using color for the cape

    -18. “Soccer, Hockey, Polo, etc.”, would have team number players, “When displayed ball (puck, etc.) is touched by a man it moves in direction man was going”

    -19. Skeet (Airplane) Shooting #2, “Probably best to have “stored” random target program so each player gets same choice of targets for score comparison”

    -20. Golf Putting, two controls for choosing angle and power of the ball

    -21. “Horse Racing”, another guessing game with color, features the bell again, “Note: The above would make an interesting “Non-TV” Board Game… perhaps could sell idea to someone like Parker Brothers”

    -Pings Baer, J Mason, Bill Rusch, and Bob Solomon


May 15, 1967 - Games listed include a game with a telephone dial using the bar up the screen method, and a double bar graph game

    -”To Produce Moveable Dot”, “To Produce Lines” outlines


May 16, 1967 - Several games outlined

    -1st game, “Pumping Contest”, with a board featuring two buttons. Player one presses the fill the bucket, player two presses to lower the bucket.

    -2nd game, “Firefighter’s Pump Test”, color shifts from red to blue as player uses a two-sided pump mechanism. Interestingly the controller is atop a similar one to the pumping contest controller with “S2 not used” suggesting a modular controller.

    -3rd game, “Color Catching Contest”. Players have to stop a cycling color on the screen that they call out. A variation using a “Flywheel or phonograph turntable” with a stop button, players have to select their color on the turning device after selecting the color on the overlay. Players have a +30/-30 score table on the overlay.

    -4th game, “Roulette”. Physical roulette wheel, same as color guessing game. Implies color may switch on screen according to where the ball is on the reel.

    -TVG #5, “Car Ride (Race)”. Shifting driving game with special controller. Includes a wheel, a shift, and an accelerator. Harrison suggests giving player 2 control of the shifting road via a joystick.


May 18, 1967 - First game of “Pumping Contest” is played.

    -”Winners name will be withheld”


May 19, 1967 - “Car Ride” may be successfully implemented

    -May 22, Baer suggests it be made two player who both use joysticks rather than the drive setup.


May 24, 1967 - “TV Generator”, successful production of two independent spots.


May 31, 1967 - Attempts to add on-TV audio. Schematic is crossed out for unknown reason.


June 1, 1967 - Ralph Baer toys with a checkerboard chase game with obstacles. Subsequent pages show maze-like design patterns.

    -Bill Harrison toys with circular switches for changing game functionality and audio again.


June 5, 1967 - “Target Shooting Game” is revived. Gun barrel is made with a cardboard tube with a photocell at the other end.


June 7, 1967 - Archives two independent dots, a line, and a color background. Both background and one dot are green.

    -Only able to switch between two colors for things like the Color game, green and blue.


June 14 - “Cludge” introduced for generating random numbers through “a digitally coded card is inserted in the dismatchy”.

    -Use of “cludge”, an MIT hacker term.

    -Said it would be a way to player a monopoly-type game.


June 14/15 1967 - Presentation of the games and funding proposal.

    -14th show for Herbert Campman, 15th show for Royden Sanders, Harold Pope, and D Chisholm

-Proposal for “Special Display Techniques”, “To investigate the feasibility of using Raster Scan Displays for low-data-rate graphic display applications”   

-Requires three engineers, six techs, and 0-3 admins.

        -Expected completion in January 1968. Design Aug-Sept, Breadboarding Sept-December, Final Report in January

-Total budget of $17,240

-”Summary of Major Games”

    -”Chess Board Game”, chase game where the player can only move orthogonally.

    -”Fox Hunt”, three player game with fox, hunter, and scorekeeper. Fox is red.

    -”Fox & Hounds Chase”, two players with three hounds and one fox. Fox tries to get from upper right to lower left.

    -”Target Shooting”, stationary or moving targets

    -”Color Guessing Game”, physical spinner and score kept with TV

    -”Bucket Filling Game”, Pumping Contest


June 15, 1967 - “Items for Coverage” new list of games ideas

    -”Analogic (Sleep Inducing) Application”, pattern generator, would have an automatic TV shutoff.

    -”Child & Adult Psychology Test”, building blocks, “Textile, wallpaper design generation”

    -”Warship vs Torpedo Boat”, animated streak flies towards the warship. IMPORTANT

    -”Use of phonograph record to explain game”, prior use of cassette tape.

    -”Target Shooting”, given new feature targets. “Add Sound, Limit Ammunition Available, Adjustable Sights”

    -”Drawing Games”, said to use “optical memory”. Would have a phosphorescent painted overlay “For use in dark room only”

    -Plan to use a phonograph to alter the game state

    -A game for learning binary


June 15, 1967 - “Alternate Course for TV Game”, reordering of the technology

    -So much happening on this day indicates a worry over the project future.


June 16, 1967 - Circuit card concept presented by Bill Harrison, cards essentially act the same as pin connectors would


June 17, 1967 - “TV Gaming - Status Report & Brief Review of TVG Applications”

    -1. Decision of separate unit or integrated into TV set, “Note: Type 1A above could be provided in KIT form” (with a rectangle around KIT form)

    -2. They would build a stand alone unit, circuit cards for Target Shooting and Chess games specifically

    -3. A full list of applications: “Games for Entertainment, Skill, Chance, Artistic Games, Instructional Games, Bar graphs and lines, Card Games, Sports Games, Wargames, Probability games/study, Clinical Psychology Tool, Analogic”

        -”Special effects” including disappearing, blinking, and phonograph/tape recording


July 7, 1967 - When the next batch of documents pick up.

    -Parts testing, a switch to monochrome, focus on the light gun.


August 3, 1967 - Harrison conducts a test of the power with batteries.

    -Giant RCA 9 volt battery.


September 15, 1967 - R&D Plan, summary

    -Notes on approach and scope

        -”Paper study and demonstration of applications for reaction and feedback”

        -”Attempt circuit simplifications, aiming toward cost dedication”

        -”Find source of contact overlays”

        -”Create additional minimum cost functions for increased versatility” What could this mean?

        -”Creation additional applications for system”

    -New cost estimate of $8101, running through November

        -”Develop added applications for existing equipment”

        -”Modify equipment for added applications”

        -”Demonstrate equipment and rework applications”


September 29, 1967 - Bill Rusch begins to try and come up with more applications for the two hardware dots.


October 4, 1967 - Special Sales Order for TVG project.

    -Ralph Baer, Equipment Design, William Rusch, Task Manager. No Harrison.

    -Pings a huge number of people in the company for the first time


October 10, 1967 - Harrison plays around with field shapes, not as complicated as the mazes but with rectangular variations.


October 12, 1967 - Bill Rusch works on circuit simplification.


October 18, 1967 - “Moving Spot for TVG”, the idea of something which could bounce around various spots on the screen. The spots would be predetermined and controlled via a push button to cycle through the various spots.

    -First idea was a batting game which would send the ball back to its thrown position

    -Second idea was Ping Pong, “coincidence” is introduced

    -”Gun Ping Pong” as a target shooting game with predetermined paths set by off screen dots


October 31, 1967 - “TV Gaming Device” schematics are drawn up.

    Game Sequence (10 games): Checker Games, Chase Games, Ping Pong, Hockey, Volly Ball, Checkers with Obstacle, Hand Ball, Target Shooting, Pumping Game, Golf


November 3, 1967 - William Rusch proposing circular ball for a soccer game


November 7, 1967 - Monthly status report by Bill Rusch for October, “A new system concept has been implemented. It offers cost savings and permits new classes of applications.”


November 15, 1967 - “Create New Fields” by Rusch, paths and tracks for games like racing, ‘collision’ games (like orbiting planet lines), and missile game.


November 20, 1967 - Checkerboard generation by Rusch, Pool and golf game ideas with ricochet shots


November 21, 1967 - With a “Breakthru” that appears to be a trigger of the coincidence circuit, Rusch comes up with a list of several “APPLICATIONS”

    -Pool, Ping Pong (with direction and speed determined by player object), Soccer, Ping Pong (over a center net, like TfT), “Ski Ball”, “Golf shot to elevated green”, Football Kick (forward facing), “Golf Putting Several (dark) holes”, “Better Football (Field Goal) Kick” (side view), Soccer/Hockey, Race Car with bumping vehicles, Volley Ball, “Doubles Ping Pong or Tennis), Golf with Five Spots

    -Implementation of shadows

    -”Penny Arcade Hockey” with spinning shapes as the bats, similar to Chicago Coins’ Goalee


December 4, 1967 - More illustrated game ideas by Rusch. New semi star-like shape to represent player

    -”Ball on a Band/Balloon Bounce”, bouncing a ball off a paddle to see how many times it can be hit

    -”Dart Throwing” with gravitational pull

    -”Basket Shooting”, 1 or 2 players

    -”Plane + Ship Shooting + Bombing”, plane circles above and bombs hip below. Both move on set paths.

    -”Two Planes shooting at each other”, basically Jet Fighter

    -”RACE GAME with Int. joysticks, Obstacles and Bouncing!”, bouncing around an environment with walls

    -”Boxing”, rudimentary humans, undecided if top or bottom view

    -”Handball”, bounces off sides of the screen and drains on bottom

    -”Pinball Game”, gains points if it hits dots on overlays as it ricochets. Drains through black box on overlay.

    “Hands Off Bounce-Chase”, players bounce around until they collide with each other, marking the time


December 6-12 1967 - Harrison and Rusch investigate pool and hockey. Initially the circuits seem to be a no go, but success is reported on the 12.


December 13, 1967 - Rusch proposes new TVG ideas

    -”Ouija Board TV set Game”

    -”Puzzles - kids can ‘build’ pictures with visual multi-shaped ‘blocks’ etc” Demonstration visual is a pentomino

        -Rusch outlines a vase-like figure “Silhouette”

    -”Puppet Shows”

    -Presuming a battery powered TV, ”Cheap Radar for Boats? Car tuner etc, In Planes?”


December 18, 1967 - “Mirror system on piano, organ”


December 20, 1967 - Other Rusch ideas

    -”Combine TV and Telephone”

    -”Shooting Galley with moving ducks and spinning hills”

    -”Use TV as Oscilloscope”


January 2, 1968 - Report for December 1967

    -”Additional operating modes (rebounding, shrinking target size) display circuitry was developed and demonstrated”

    -Patent applications to be submitted




January 11, 1968 - Harison to do list for gun, now in its rifle form

    -”Finish pistol”

    -”Put function from PC board into chassis”

    -Photocell sync


January 17, 1968 - “Cost Estimate (Electronics Only)” by Harrison

    -”Gun, $2.60”

    -”Antenna Crowbar, $.51”

    -”3 spot function box, $12.00”, 24 transistors, 1 Silicon controlled rectifier, 1 photocell, 1 inductive pick-up coil, 8 thin potentiometers, 8 long shaft potentiometers, 30 diodes, 60 resistors, 20 capacitores, 8 electrolytic capacitors. 161 parts, 10 individual parts.

    -Total, $15.11


January 18, 1968 to February 19 - Meetings with Teleprompter/CATV about licensing the device.


January 26, 1968 - “CATV Demo Box”, for using a direct broadcast signal


January 31, 1968 - Herbert Campman issues a stop order for the project


February 20, 1968 - Harrison works on gun electronics

    -Indications by numbering on the documents suggests there may have been other interim activity on either side


August 11, 1968 - Harrison resumes schematic work

    -Creates general layouts for their functionality at present

        -Includes generation of several spot types: Round ball, a diamond shape, the star-like shape, a vertical rounded rectangle, and a wide rounded rectangle


September 6-17, 1968 - Harrison is given the task to use Rusch’s circuits to do five important functions:

    -”Video ?”, “Coincidence detectors”, “Gated Differentiator”, “Wall Bounce”, “DMV Voltage Controlled”


October 26, 1968 - “LIST OF GAMES Playable w/ Various Configuations ”Games are prepared split into four categories. 2 spots with coincidence, 3 spots with reciprocate, 3 spots with Net/Wall line, 3 spots + ball and coincidence

    -”Overlay Checker Games, Maze Games”

    -”Chase Games”

    -”Ping Pong, w/o net, w/ net”

    -”Hockey (with overlay goals)

    -”Handball, single handed, doubles”

    -”Gun Games (gun added), single spot stationary or manually moved, ball intercept (auto or manual)”’

    -”Golf Putting Game”

    -Color still a noted feature of system


January 1969 - Noted as an approximate date, new games list

    -”Handball”, “Ping Pong”, “Volley Ball”, “Hockey”, “Golf Putting”, “checkers Games”, “Chase”, “Target”, “Pumping Game”, “Coed Square Games - Add code generator”

    -Controller with two potentiometers and one button is created

    -Games currently toggled with a switch

        -”1st position - table tennis or hockey”

        -”2nd position - Chase or Overlay games + rifle”

        -”3rd position - Hand Ball (incomplete)”


January 14, 1969 - Meeting with RCA.


March 1969 - New “TVG - DigBox” “Conservative estimate” of parts and price

    -Without two players, case, controllers, gun, or connectors

    -$12.65 total. 35 diodes, 30 transistors, 90 resistors, 1 silicon controlled rectifier, 10 large capacitors, 15 small capacitors, 10 potentiometers, 1 PC Board


March 10, 1969 - Meeting with Zenith.


March 12, 1969 - Meeting with GE.


March 18, 1969 - Meeting with Sylvania.


April 2, 1969 - Meeting with RCA.


May 7, 1969 - Meeting with GE.


May 26, 1969 - “Hockey ADD ON for TVG” by Bill Rusch

    -Would allow for ball to move in the direction of the hit, with velocity, and bounce off walls

    -Two separate generators for square and round ball spots

    -Cost $12.00 for the electronics, plus $5.00 for the joysticks


May 28, 1969 - Meeting with GE and a representative from the Institute for Analytical Research.


May 29, 1969 - “Round Spot for TVG ??” by Harrison, seeming to express disbelief that they are still trying

    Meeting with Motorola. (Warwick was demonstrated to at some point and Sony was considered, if not strictly demonstrated)


July 1970 - Magnavox representatives, encouraged by Bill Enders formerly of RCA, come for a demonstration of the Brown Box.


August 26, 1970 - Baer and Lou Etlinger travel to Magnavox’s headquarters in Fort Wayne to demonstrate the Brown Box.


1971 - Bill Harrison creates a game list with the logic gates denoted as well as a currently unused color switch

    -Ping Pong. Hockey, Hand Ball, “Volley Ball (also checkers with obstacle)”, “Pumping Game ?”, Target Shooting, Chase Game, Checker Games, Golf Putting, Code Gen


March 11th, 1971 - Sanders and Magnavox sign their initial licensing agreement for the technology of the Brown Box.


March 30, 1971 - Visit to Magnavox in Fort Wayne report by Baer

    -In attendance: Gerry Martin (Console Product Dev), Bob Sanders (VP Engineering), Bob Wiles (Color TV Product Mfg), Bob Grant (TV Engineer Manager), Paul Knauer (Chief Color TV Engineer), George Kent (Section Chief, Color TV Engineering), Clarence Graef (Color Engineer), Gene Kile (Manager of Design), Clyde “Wiley” Welbaum (Design Director)

    -Baer went with Kile and Welbaum. Harrison met with Kanuer, Kent, Graef, and Grant.

        -Baer group was taped, 4 hour discussion

        -”It was pointed out that product introduction in the TV business occurs in April & May”, unlikely for 1972

    -”There was a positive attitude displayed by all attendees to the demo and at subsequent sessions with the exception of Bob Saunders who refused to enter into the spirit of the TV, as he did on our prior visit - cannot ‘read’ his real position as yet.”

    -”All parties recognize the need for an engineering team supported by at least one non-engineering, creative, imaginative software man”

    -The control would have two controllers with 4-6 ft wires, use circuit cards, to look like a portable cassette recorder


June 10, 1971 - Bill Harrison does more schematics on “Chroma Gen for Magnavox”


June 28, 1971 - Harrison produces notes on a Magnavox meeting

    -”gun not so good”

    -Meeting happening in New York to discuss saleability of machine, marketing of the games such as names and whatnot

    -George Kent is optimistic


July 20, 1971 - “Skill-O-Vision” by Bob Wiles outlines their plans for a market test

    -Idea was discussed in San Diego with a man named Ken Crane

    -Test would be conducted from Monday the 26 to Thursday the 29th

    -Bob Wiles, Clarence Graef, and Vern Parnell would demonstrate the device


Provided Questionnaire outlines both a script and a set of questions

    -”Under no circumstances will the electronic games impair your television reception”

    -Game cards are used, English control is implemented, Reset button

    -Games are Ping Pong, Checkerboard I, States and Capitals, Baseball, Rifle Range

Questions, filled out in a California and a Michigan (October) test, 82 respondents:


        -89% Very much

    -Like and dislike

        -Top likes: competitive, Unique, Educational

    -Preference of game card or a dial selector

    -Demographic: Adults, Teens, Preteends, Grade Schoolers, Preschoolers


    -Other toys

    -”Do you Presently Own a Color TV Set?”

        -78% yes

    -Preference on Skill-O-Vision name

        -65% like

    -”Would you buy this product if it were offered for sale at $75? If no, what price do you think the product should sell for?”

        -80% yes

    -Married or single

    -Age of head of house

    -Education level of head of house

    -Income bracket


October 1971 - A decision is made to market the console


October 15, 1971 - Robert Fritsche memo on Skill-O-Vision, interprets data from the initial tests to push for family marketing and a new name


February 2nd, 1972 - Magnavox signs the final agreement to put the Brown Box system out on the market imminently.


April 25, 1972 - Odyssey patents accepted.


May 3, 1972 - The first Magnavox Profit Caravan show is held in Phoenix, Arizona.


May 23-25, 1972 - The Magnavox show in Burlingame.


August 1, 1972 - Another agreement is signed between Magnavox and Sanders.


September 1972 - Odyssey from Magnavox is released.

    -Materials and labor costs are $35 for the console, $99.95 general cost.


November 28, 1972 - Robert Fritsche sends out a memo about Odyssey survey cards, letters, and interesting reports on Odyssey’s use

    -LA Air Traffic Control purchased two units for a training program with modification

    -Veterans Administration in NY (Bioengineering Research Service), created qudrapalegic accessible version with a microswitch behind the head

    -University of Kentucky testing motor responses with two units

    -Optometrist in NJ, “He has modified the conditions under which Odyssey is used to better develop binocular, hand-eye, and other ocular skills.”

    -High schools to use Odyssey in “Visual Training programs”

    -”Head Start” in Maryland studying Odyssey


November 27, 1972 - A Bally lawyer calls Magnavox over the question of licensing

    -Magnavox says they are not current in the position to designate sub-licensees.


April 1973 - Magnavox begins sending out legal probes.

    -Terms of license are 7% on net sales, $5000 advance, no less than $1000 per year.

        -Later reduced to 6% and $500 minimum.


April 15, 1974 - Bally files suit in New York, Magnavox files suit in Chicago. The former files for invalidation of the patents, the other files for infringement.

    -Seeburg Industries Inc, The Seeburg Corporation, Williams Electronics Inc, World Wide Distributors are added.


September 1974 - Magnavox bought by Philips.


July 1975 - Atari files suit against Magnavox for invalidation.

    -Quickly incorporated into the main case.


September 1975 - Sears gets added due to Home Pong.


January 1976 - Standard license agreement

    -$100,000 advance

    -5% for the first 250,000 units

    -4% for the second 250,000 units

    -3% in excess of 500,000 units


June 1976 - Atari, Bally, and Sears settle.

    -Atari licensing agreement. $1.5 million in installments. 4% first 20,000 units, 3% after.

    -”ATARI hereby grants to MAGNAVOX and SANDERS, subject to the reservations [...] a fully paid non-exclusive license to make, have made, use, sell and lease LICENSED PRODUCTS under the ATARI PATENTS, without the right to sublicense. ATARI further grants to MAGNAVOX and to SANDERS an option to grant non-exclusive sublicenses in foreign countries outside the United States under ATARI PATENTS provided that a payment is made to ATARI of 1% of the Net selling Price of the sub-licensed products.”


January 1977 - Initial case finalized in Magnavox’s favor.


September 1977 - APF Electronics, Unisonic, Executive Games, URL, Taito America, Control Sales, Jewel Co, Osco Drug, Turn-Style, Jay-Kay Distributors, K-Mart, Bennet Bros, Venture Electronic International all sued by Magnavox.

    -Fairchild, Allied Leisure, and Radio Shack also sued.

    -Appears to be piecemealed off in settlements.

    -URL does go bankrupt and Magnavox sues for settlement.


1978 - Bally is sued again over Bally Professional Arcade.


1980 - Magnavox v Mattel is filed

    -Ends in 1982 after a 9 day trial, settlement at the 11th hour.

    -Establishes precedent for programmable games.


1982 - Magnavox v Activision


1982 - APF and MIT jointly sue Magnavox

    -Bolkow patents


1984 - Bally sued AGAIN


1986 - Magnavox v Nintendo

    -Over both the original patents and the light gun


1992 - Magnavox v Sega of America


1993 - American Vending Sales, Inc, Atlas Distributing, Inc, Capcom U.S.A. Inc, Coin Machine Corporation of America, Data East U.S.A. Inc, Konami America Inc, Leland Corporation, Romstar Inc, Snk Corporation of America, Temco, Inc, Tradewest Inc, World Wide Distributors Inc, Taito America Corporation sued.


February 15, 1994 - “Konami agreed to pay North American Philips $495,000.  This amount represented a 3% royalty for each game Konami sold between June 1987 and April 1989 that incorporated the patented device”