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William K. Ford case files collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 113.3288
The William K. Ford case files collection contains digitized documents of various court filings pertaining to the video game and arcade industry, as well as some reference materials written by Ford. The bulk of the materials are from 1973-1985. The documentation in Series I, Subseries B holds records related to case no. 74 C 1030, the Magnavox Company v. Bally Manufacturing Corp. et al., regarding patent infringement of Ralph Baer’s original patent for TV Games; Baer’s depositions are included.

The William K. Ford case files collection is arranged into two series, one of which has been further divided into subseries. The physical materials are housed in one archival document box. Copies of the digital files are stored on the internal network at The Strong.


  • 1973-1985
  • 2012 - 2017


Conditions Governing Use

This collection is open for research use by staff of The Strong and by users of its library and archives. Though the donor has not transferred intellectual property rights (including, but not limited to any copyright, trademark, and associated rights therein) to The Strong, he has given permission for The Strong to make copies in all media for museum, educational, and research purposes.


0.2 Linear Feet (1 box)

108 Megabytes (Digital files) : Accessible on-site at The Strong.


The William K. Ford case files collection is a compilation of digitized documents of various court filings from the 1970s and 1980s pertaining to the video game and arcade industry. Also included in this collection are three law journal articles and accompanying letters from Ford.

Biographical Note

William K. Ford, JD, is an American lawyer, professor, and author. Ford earned his law degree from the University of Chicago in 2003. He held the position of Bigelow Teaching Fellow and Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago Law School, and in 2006, Ford was appointed Associate Professor at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Ford teaches courses in computer and video game law, contracts, constitutional theory, and other right of publicity topics.

Ford has given lectures, written articles, and contributed to books about video game law. In 2013 and 2014, Ford hosted and produced five episodes of an informative web series called “Games are Not Coffee Mugs.” As of 2017, Ford teaches at John Marshall Law School and writes about video game law and its correlation with copyright, trademarks, right of publicity, and other intellectual property issues.

System of Arrangement

Series I: Legal case files, 1973-1985

Subseries A: Allied Leisure Industries, Inc. v. Midway Manufacturing Co., 1973-1974
Subseries B: Magnavox Co. v. Bally Manufacturing Corp. et al., 1974-1977
Subseries C: Atari, Inc. v. Magnavox Co., 1975-1976
Subseries D: Magnavox Co. v. Sears, Roebuck and Co., 1975-1976
Subseries E: Midway Manufacturing Co. v. Universal Co., Ltd. et al., 1980
Subseries F: Magnavox Co. v. Mattel, Inc. et al., 1980-1985

Series II: William K. Ford reference, 2012-2017

Custodial History

The William K. Ford case files collection was donated to The Strong in July 2013 as a gift from William K. Ford. The collection accessioned by The Strong under Object ID 113.3288 and was received from Ford in one envelope.

Processed by

Julia Novakovic, February 2016
Finding Aid to the William K. Ford case files collection, 1973-1985, 2012-2017
Julia Novakovic
21 July 2017
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong Repository

The Strong
One Manhattan Square
Rochester NY 14607 USA
585.423.1886 (Fax)