San Francisco, Calif. (September 17, 2014) – Fenwick & West announced today a favorable resolution obtained for its client, King Digital Entertainment plc (NYSE: KING) in King’s copyright lawsuit against online game provider 6waves, Inc.
Led by litigation partner Jennifer Kelly – industry lead for Fenwick’s gaming and digital media practice – King, a leading interactive entertainment company for the mobile world, sued 6waves and related entities in the Northern District of California in August 2013. The action alleged that 6waves’ games "Farm Epic" and "Treasure Epic" infringed the copyrights in King’s games "Farm Heroes Saga" and "Pet Rescue Saga." As King’s complaint alleged, the "Epic" games, which had been released on Facebook, were unmistakable copies of King’s "Saga" games. King’s complaint sought an injunction permanently enjoining the "Epic" games’ distribution, along with monetary damages and attorneys’ fees.
6waves responded with a motion to dismiss the case based on the doctrine of forum non conveniens, arguing that the People’s Republic of China was a more suitable forum for the dispute since the allegedly infringing games had been developed in Beijing. King successfully defeated that motion, along with 6waves’ attempts to stay discovery in the case. On August 28, 2014, King also obtained an order requiring 6waves to reveal the terms of its settlement of a separate 2012 copyright lawsuit alleging that 6waves’ game "Yeti Town" was a knockoff of game company Spry Fox’s "Triple Town."
A resolution of this dispute was reached shortly thereafter.
As part of the resolution, 6waves stipulated to entry of an injunction by the court that permanently enjoins the marketing, advertising, promotion, reproduction, distribution or display of both "Epic" games. Further, as indicated in King’s press release regarding resolution of the dispute, 6waves agreed to make an undisclosed payment to King, accounting for a significant amount of their revenues and King’s legal fees.
“We are very pleased with the resolution of this matter on behalf of King and look forward to continuing to vigorously defend the company’s intellectual property behind the popular games that engage users around the world,” said Kelly.
Robert Miller, King’s Chief Legal Officer, said: “We are pleased that this matter has now been resolved. We believe in a thriving game development community based on fair competition. However, this was a case where another company sought to take advantage of the hard work and creativity of two of our games teams. In such circumstances, we will always look to vigorously enforce our rights.”
The Fenwick litigation team representing King consisted of partners Jennifer Kelly and Laurence Pulgram, head of the firm’s copyright litigation practice, and associates Liwen Mah and Kunyu Ching.
Fenwick’s 100-lawyer litigation department practices in state and federal venues across the United States and has a track record of obtaining successful outcomes on the largest and most complex "bet the company" cases as well as more typical commercial disputes. With one of the most active gaming and digital media practices of any law firm in the country, Fenwick has represented pioneering game publishers, developers, platform manufacturers and content providers in the interactive entertainment arena.
About Fenwick & West
Fenwick & West provides comprehensive legal services to ground-breaking technology and life sciences companies at every stage of their lifecycle. We craft innovative, cost-effective and practical solutions for established and emerging companies on issues ranging from venture capital, public offerings, joint ventures, M&A and strategic relationships, to intellectual property, litigation and dispute resolution, taxation, antitrust, and employment and labor law. For more than four decades, Fenwick has helped some of the world's most recognized companies become and remain market leaders.