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Lawsuit

Wii U photo
Wii U

Philips is out to ban the Wii U from sale in the US


Patent infringement is a powerful thing
May 15
// Brittany Vincent
Philips is making an attempt to get the Wii U banned from sale in the US on the grounds of patent infringement. The electronics giant has accused Nintendo of replicating specific technology concerning navigation via "pointing...
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Oculus responds to ZeniMax intellectual property claims


'We are disapointed but not surprised by ZeniMax's actions'
May 05
// Dale North
For those just tuning in, ZeniMax Media sent a formal notice of rights to Oculus VR and new parent company Facebook over intellectual property claims. Long story short, ZeniMax feels that work that happened with them carried ...
Duke Nukem photo
Duke Nukem

3D Realms asserts it still owns Duke Nukem in Answer to Gearbox's lawsuit


'Round and 'round we go...
Mar 26
// Brett Makedonski
In response to Gearbox Software filing a Complaint against 3D Realms and Interceptor for unauthorized use of the Duke Nukem trademark, 3D Realms (along with Defendants Apogee Software and Interceptor Entertainment) submi...

What was 3D Realms thinking with the Duke Nukem fiasco?

Feb 25 // Brett Makedonski
The entire issue stems from a February 2, 2010 asset purchase agreement in which Gearbox bought the Duke Nukem IP from 3D Realms “except for very limited exceptions.” These exceptions are for the re-issuing of past games, such as the recent release of Duke Nukem 3D on Steam. Outside of that, Gearbox has the rights and control of the future direction of Duke Nukem. Despite this contract being in place, Gearbox alleges that 3D Realms then went and licensed the franchise to Interceptor to create Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction. Gearbox is suing for, among other things, a permanent injunction to prevent this game from being released. It’s difficult to imagine Interceptor as anything more than an unknowing pawn in this entire ordeal -- a developer that thought it was making a legal deal because how should it know the company that was selling something didn’t actually own it? That doesn’t explain the actions of 3D Realms, though. Given the details of the asset purchase agreement, it seems clear-cut that it had no right to make this deal. Did 3D Realms think it was being sneaky and that Gearbox would never find out? Because of the companies’ history of litigation, did it want to try to stick it to Gearbox any way it could, legal ramifications be damned? Is 3D Realms just that hard-up for money that it knowingly brokered an illegal contract to have some cash in the short-term? Unless 3D Realms has a side of the story that’s wildly different than Gearbox’s, it looks like it simply put its middle finger in the air. Again, it’s all conjecture at this point, but how could these actions possibly be explained? This unsavory approach reeks of a developer that had one idea more than a decade ago and can’t move past it. However, even if 3D Realms wanted to sell, why on earth did Interceptor want to buy? The Duke Nukem brand is not in good shape right now. After the throttling Duke Nukem Forever took, there might not be a worse IP to invest in right now. The entire “rude and crude” crutch that the series depends on has aged so poorly that it’s not viable for Duke Nukem to be a successful character in 2014. The majority of the targeted audience for Duke Nuke can be broken up into two camps -- those that grew up with the franchise, and a younger crowd that reacts in kind to its trademark humor. The former has mostly matured beyond what Duke Nukem is willing to offer. That was clearly apparent given Duke Nukem Forever’s reception. The latter has absolutely no allegiance to the brand. They didn’t grow up with Duke Nukem, so the name rings evokes no sentimental emotions from them. There’s a sliver of people still fond of the franchise, but that group’s so small that it’s not feasible to market a large-scale game solely to them. The wise thing for Interceptor to do would have been to create its own IP. That way, it would have been afforded the opportunity to mold a character and world that would have stood a chance right out the gate. Duke Nukem is absolute poison in 2014. It’s going to take a miraculous effort that vastly changes the series’ core tenets to make it relevant again. To boot, Interceptor wouldn’t have had to pay any licensing fees, as frivolous as they may have ended up being. At the end of the day, it seems like Gearbox is going to come out of this one smelling like roses. Although, why didn’t it let Interceptor put out Mass Destruction and then sue for royalties? It surely would’ve been more simple to collect a check than to permanently prevent a game’s release. In the Complaint, Gearbox requests statutory damages as well as punitive damages -- the latter awarded for conduct that is found to be willful and wanton. Gearbox is smart to take this approach, the reasoning being two-fold. First, assuming that it’s successful in its litigation, it’s less of a gamble to seek these damages than to try to take a percentage of what a game sells. No one knows how Mass Destruction could be received, and if it absolutely tanks (which is certainly within the realm of possibility), there might not be much money at all to draw from. Second, by obtaining the injunction, Gearbox gets to maintain full control over its property. Duke Nukem might not have much of a reputation right now, but you’d be hard-pressed to fault Gearbox for not wanting someone else to further screw that up. If I were a betting man, I’d wager that Gearbox knows that neither of these two companies has the type of money to be able to satisfy any sort of judgment that’s awarded against them. With punitives in the mix, it has the potential to be very high. If this is the case, Gearbox is likely posturing itself to be able to obtain the work that’s already done on Mass Destruction in a sheriff’s sale -- similar to what Nintendo recently did. The saga of this game is probably far from over, and I’d be surprised if we don’t eventually see it released under Gearbox’s banner. We’ll have to wait a while for the court proceedings to play out before we know what kind of resolution this ultimately has. The preliminary evidence all points in Gearbox’s favor, though. However, this could’ve all been avoided if 3D Realms and Interceptor hadn’t made such terrible decisions in the first place. Poor showing, guys.
Duke Nukem lawsuit photo
Interceptor's not off the hook either
With this week’s news that Gearbox Software has filed a lawsuit against 3D Realms and Interceptor for unauthorized use of the Duke Nukem property, it raises the question – exactly what the hell are 3D Realms and I...

Farts 'N' Crafts photo
My mom's gonna hang this on the fridge.
Following up Friday's debut of "Dumb Idiot Ideas," here's the first episode of another weekly series: "Farts 'N' Crafts." On this show, I draw horrible pictures of things vaguely related to what's going on in the world of vid...

Duke Nukem photo
Duke Nukem

Gearbox files suit against 3D Realms over Duke Nukem IP


Gearbox alleges unauthorized use
Feb 24
// Brett Makedonski
Gearbox Software has filed a lawsuit in United States Federal Court against both 3D Realms and Interceptor Entertainment, alleging that the two colluded to use the Duke Nukem trademark and copyright unlawfully, and ...
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Nintendo wins patent infringement case


3DS and DSi cleared
Feb 20
// Dale North
Licensing companies Technology Properties Limited LLC, Phoenix Digital Solutions LLC, and Patriot Scientific Corporation had a case against Nintendo for infringing on three of their patents relating to processors an...
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Europe's court: Nintendo's anti-piracy tech is lawful


PC Box case continues
Jan 24
// Dale North
The highest court in the EU, The Court of Justice of the European Union, says that Nintendo's anti-piracy product security is lawful. The decision was handed down today for the current running PC Box case in Milan. While the ...
Hearthstone photo
Hearthstone

Hearthstone rip-off being sued by Blizzard


That didn't take long
Jan 22
// Harry Monogenis
Blizzard and NetEase are, according to MMOCulture, suing Chinese company Unico for $1.65 million (¥10 million) for their blatant rip-off of Hearthstone, which they've called Legend of Crouching Dragon. Legend of...
Nintendo photo
Nintendo

Nintendo obtains IA Labs' patents in sheriff's sale


Lawsuits ain't cheap
Jan 09
// Brett Makedonski
Nintendo acquired the entire patent portfolio of IA Labs in a sheriff's sale this week in Montgomery County, Maryland. The transaction came about as the result of unsuccessful litigation on the part of IA Labs. In 2010, IA La...
3DS photo
3DS

Nintendo has to pay royalties for every 3DS sold


An update on the patent infringement suit
Jan 06
// Jordan Devore
As a followup to Tomita Technologies International's patent infringement case against Nintendo for using its camera technology in the 3DS, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff ruled last month that Nintendo would need to pay royalt...
EA investigation photo
EA investigation

Law firm launches investigation into EA and Battlefield 4


Law is a battlefield
Dec 11
// Steven Hansen
Were you injured in an accident on the job? Did Battlefield 4 give you incontinence, space measles, or sinusoidal finger? Then you might have a case. Law firm Holzer Holzer and Fistel, LLC is investigating whether EA claims f...
GTA V photo
GTA V

Lindsay Lohan allegedly suing Rockstar Games over GTA V


Claims likeness was used without permission in GTA V
Dec 01
// Wesley Ruscher
You know it's a slow news weekend when I'm reporting on findings from celebrity news website TMZ, but alas here we go. According to reports from the site, former Disney debutant Lindsay Lohan is suing Rockstar Games over, wha...
38 Studios photo
38 Studios

Court battle over 38 Studios begins in Rhode Island


RIEDC v. Wells Fargo Securities LLC is underway
Oct 13
// Kyle MacGregor
The trial between 38 Studios founder Curt Schilling and the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation has begun. Opening arguments from both sides were made Friday in Rhode Island Super Court, The Providence Journal repor...
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THQ sues UFC and EA over UFC game license


THQ claims that EA passed inside information
Oct 10
// Dale North
THQ says that Electronic Arts intentionally ruined THQ's relationship with UFC parent company Zuffa to get their own license deal. According to Polygon's findings, THQ is suing EA and Zuffa over the UFC game license. If you'v...
EA settlement photo
EA settlement

EA to pay tens of millions to NCAA student athletes


Plaintiffs' attorneys call it a 'historic settlement'
Sep 28
// Brett Makedonski
Electronic Arts has bought its way out of a potentially nasty class action lawsuit, for use of the names, images, and likenesses of former and current NCAA student athletes. All it cost was an undisclosed amount, vaguely refe...
Gearbox lawsuit photo
Gearbox lawsuit

3D Realms drops its Duke Nukem lawsuit against Gearbox


One down, Colonial Marines to go
Sep 13
// Brett Makedonski
Earlier this year, 3D Realms filed a lawsuit against Gearbox Software, alleging more than $2 million in unpaid royalties from Duke Nukem Forever. A mere few months later, the parties have now stipulated to the dismissal with ...
Nintendo vs. flashcarts photo
Nintendo vs. flashcarts

Nintendo files suit against Florida flashcart distributor


Not in my house!
Aug 07
// Tony Ponce
Piracy on the DS was kind of a big deal, which is why Nintendo has been taking measures to ensure that the same filth doesn't infect the 3DS ecosystem. The 3D handheld has remained more or less untainted thus far, but the onl...
EA loses lawsuit photo
EA loses lawsuit

Boom! EA loses $11 million Madden lawsuit


Boom! Tough actin' litigation
Jul 24
// Steven Hansen
In 2011, we reported that Electronic Arts was being sued by Robin Antonick, designer of the original John Madden Football, who was claiming unpaid royalties for derivatives of his work after realizing subsequent early Madden ...
Harmonix photo
Harmonix

Viacom loses $300-million lawsuit against Harmonix


Dollar dollar bills, ya'll
Jul 17
// Abel Girmay
Ending years of litigation, the Delaware Supreme Court has ordered Viacom to pay Harmonix Music's former owners $300 million in owed bonuses, money from when Viacom still owned the studio. You may remember that Harmonix was b...
Wii U photo
Wii U

Nintendo loses legal claim to WiiU.com domain name


Not exactly the cyber-squatting case some thought it would be
Jul 02
// Abel Girmay
After filing a formal complaint with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center to gain ownership of the domain name WiiU.com, an official ruling has been handed down in favor of Andy Tran, the current owner of the domain name...
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Jimquisition: Lawsuits, Memes, and Tasty Medicine


Jimquisition happens every Monday!
May 06
// Jim Sterling
Warner Bros. and 5th Cell are facing a lawsuit over the inclusion of Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat in Scribblenauts. Preposterous, you say? Greedy, are the meme makers? I say well done them! It's absolutely about time Warne...
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Aliens: Gearbox defends its right to mislead customers


Studio lashes back at 'frivolous litigation'
May 03
// Jim Sterling
Both Gearbox and SEGA have responded to a class action suit that alleges customers were lied to during the development of Aliens: Colonial Marines. Both companies are happy to defend themselves and seem unswayed by the threat...
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Warner Bros. sued over memes in Scribblenauts? Okay!


Thief-hating company accused of theft
May 02
// Jim Sterling
Warner Bros. and 5th Cell are being slapped with a lawsuit (story via NeoGAF) over the inclusion of a pair of Internet memes in Scribblenauts Unlimited. Both the infamous Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat can be summoned into th...
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Aliens: Colonial Marines gets class action suit for lies


Gearbox and SEGA targeted for misleading advertising
May 01
// Jim Sterling
SEGA and Gearbox have been slapped with a class action suit for Aliens: Colonial Marines, accused of lying about the game to get it sold. It was only a matter of time.  Edelson LLC has taken the case, which alleges that ...

Nintendo must pay $30M due to 3D patent infringement

Mar 13 // Allistair Pinsof
"We are thankful to the jurors for their diligence and hard work," Joe Diamante, Tomita's lawyer, said in an e-mail sent to Reuters. "It has been a honor to represent Mr. Tomita and to protect his invention." Nintendo replied with a statement given to Polygon: "Nintendo is confident that the result will be set aside. The jury's verdict will not impact Nintendo's continued sales in the United States of its highly acclaimed line of video game hardware, software and accessories, including the Nintendo 3DS. Nintendo has a long history of developing innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others." U.S. jury finds Nintendo liable for patent infringement [Reuters via Polygon]
Nintendo lawsuit photo
Sony inventor claims Nintendo used his tech in 3DS
Today, a federal jury found Nintendo guilty of infringing on a former Sony employee's glasses-free 3D tech with the release of the 3DS handheld. Nintendo is looking at a payout of $30.2 million in compensatory damages. Invent...

Apple settlement photo
Apple settlement

Apple settles over in-app purchases made by kids


There's no such thing as a free lunch
Feb 28
// Jordan Devore
Apple has settled a class-action lawsuit that was filed in 2011 by parents who claimed their children racked up charges through in-app purchases without their knowledge or permission, reports CNN. The company will offer $5 iT...
3DS Patent Case photo
3DS Patent Case

3D patent infringement case against Nintendo now underway


Inventor claims the gaming giant used his technology
Feb 27
// Keith Swiader
Opening arguments in a patent infringement trial against Nintendo took place in U.S. District Court on Monday, as an inventor accused the gaming giant of using his glasses-free 3D technology to develop the 3DS handheld. The i...
The Ville photo
The Ville

EA and Zynga have settled over The Ville lawsuit


It's over
Feb 15
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The Electronic Arts and Zynga lawsuits against one another have both been dismissed. The two companies reached a settlement outside of court, and the specifics of the deal haven't been disclosed. Both companies issued a state...
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Valve sued over Steam's inability to sell pre-owned games


German consumer group takes secondhand games seriously
Feb 03
// Jim Sterling
The Federation of German Consumer Organizations (VZVB) doesn't entertain the long-standing idea of digital games remaining bound to the customer. The consumer group is taking a stand and suing Valve over Steam's refusal to le...

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