Intellectual Property - 2011 Summer Bulletin


In this issue: Knockoffs: Nemesis of the Gaming World; Reigning in the Inequitable Conduct Defense: Federal Circuit’s Therasense Decision Tightens Standards for Establishing Materiality and Intent; Is the Copyright-Troll Business Model Undone? Righthaven Suffers Three Strikes in a Week; Supreme Court Clarifies Patent Infringement Inducement Standards; District Court Holds Online Publication Means Publication of a U.S. Work; A Combination of Components Can Be Designated a Trade Secret; and ICANN Approves New sTLD .XXX.

Excerpt from 'Knockoffs...':

On March 22, Amazon launched the Appstore for Android, bringing video games to the fingertips of thousands of Android users who, like their iPhone and iPad-toting friends, can now purchase and play video games anywhere, anytime. Due to mobile device games’ ease of access, highly addictive nature, and low price points, the market for such games has exploded in recent years. With many such games achieving almost cult-like status (think Angry Birds, which has achieved over 100 million downloads across all platforms), the emergence of knockoffs is practically inevitable.

In fact, we have already witnessed a number of copyright disputes between game developers and their alleged infringers, some of which have actually reached litigation. Most recently, on June 16, 2011, Zynga Inc., developer of several of the most popular Facebook games, sued Vostu Inc. in federal court, alleging that Vostu’s games “duplicate and incorporate the unique expressions of Zynga’s games.” For its part, Vostu responded that its games are full of original content and have been independently created. For good measure, Vostu added that Zynga has itself been accused of copying so many games that it has lost the ability to recognize original games. This suit reflects game developers’ increasing vigilance in protecting the copyrights in their games.

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