Video Games

News & Analysis as of

The rise of e-sports as a new American pastime

A “sock-strewn tract house” with a clubhouse/crash-pad vibe and multiple Internet connections on an ordinary side street in an island city east of San Francisco. A bungalow in Venice Beach, Calif. A rented house in Hoffman...more

Sports, Media and Entertainment Intelligence - February 2015 (Global)

Australia: Courts not siding with cricket “pitchside” gambler - A British man banned from attending Cricket Australia matches for pitchsiding has indicated his intention to challenge the legality of the ban. ...more

Trademark use within an expressive work must only pass the Rogers test, not a likelihood of confusion analysis: Mil-Spec Monkey v....

The likelihood of confusion test is often called the “cornerstone” of trademark infringement law. It may be in many circumstances, but it does not apply to allegations of infringement within expressive works, as the recent...more

Davis: Electronic Arts Gets a New Set of Downs and Still Can’t Score

Just over a month ago I wrote about the Davis v. Electronic Arts matter that was pending before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal.  Specifically, I opined that the matter was ripe for Supreme Court review in light of the...more

USA: Ninth Circuit Rejects EA’s “Incidental Use” Defense in Madden-Related Right of Publicity Suit

On January 6, 2015, the Ninth Circuit decided that Electronic Arts Inc.’s (“EA”) unauthorized use of former NFL players’ likeness as avatars in the Madden NFL video game series does not qualify for First Amendment protection....more

Advertising Law - January 2015 #2

Safeway Must Pay Customers for Higher Online Prices - A California federal court judge has ruled in a breach of contract suit that Safeway is liable to customers who paid more for items online than in the store. ...more

Davis v. Electronic Arts: Another Right of Publicity Loss for Media Companies

On January 6, 2015, Electronic Arts, Inc. (“EA”), maker of Madden NFL video games, lost its appeal to dismiss claims by approximately 6,000 retired professional football players in Michael Davis, et. al v. Electronic Arts,...more

Manatt Digital Media - January 2015

Welcome to MDM Newsletter #5—and to an entirely new year of Digital Media machinations. What better way to start the year than first recapping the last one—then predicting major themes for 2015—and then ending things up with...more

Sue-per Bowl Shuffle 2014: The Year in NFL-Related Intellectual Property Litigation

Heading into this year’s Super Bowl party season, there are two things every lawyer should be concerned about. First, why can’t your team get it together? Second, what do you do if you are asked to explain to your friends and...more

First Amendment Protects Use of Third-Party’s Trademark in Video Game

Mil-Spec Monkey, Inc. v. Activision Blizzard, Inc. et al. - Confirming that video games, including customizable multi-player games, qualify as expressive works entitled to First Amendment protection, a California...more

What Are the Rules of the Advergame in the UK?

Advergames are online video games that are created in order to promote a brand, product or organization by immersing a marketing message within the game. They are typically accessed via an organization’s website or app, or...more

You Should Know - December 2014

In This Issue: - Gaming Cheat Sheet - Tips for Parents - Best & Worst Games - Excerpt from Video Game Cheat Sheet for Parents: So Your Kids Want a Video Game. Now What? As entertainment...more

Electronic Arts and its Disrespect for the Game

On September 11, 2014, the Ninth Circuit heard oral argument on the appeal in Davis v. Electronic Arts (Case No. 12-15737), a class action lawsuit brought by three former NFL Players against Electronic Arts (“EA”), the...more

Mil-Spec Monkey, Inc. v. Activision Blizzard, Inc. - USDC, N.D. California, November 24, 2014

Mil-Spec Monkey, Inc. v. Activision Blizzard, Inc. - USDC, N.D. California, November 24, 2014: District court grants summary judgment in favor of publisher of military-action video game Call of Duty: Ghosts on trademark...more

Angry Monkey See, Angry Monkey Sue

Video games have come a long way since I was a kid. I grew up with a pixelated plumber jumping on on turtles with frozen facial expression. Sometimes it is hard to believe how far video games have developed, with games like...more

Microsoft’s New Battle: Toads

It isn’t often that Forbes and Arcade Sushi are reporting on the same story. But some news is so big, so ground breaking, and so important that all media outlets cannot, in good moral consciousness, fail to comply with their...more

Litigation Alert: California Superior Court Finds Use of Likeness of Former Panamanian Dictator Manuel Noriega in Video Game...

Manuel Noriega v. Activision Blizzard, Inc., No. BC 551747 (Cal Super. Ct. filed October 27, 2014) - In recent years, federal and state courts have wrestled with how to assess right of publicity claims in the video...more

District Court Holds Video Game Company’s Optimistic Statements Are Not Actionable

The US District Court for the Northern District of California recently dismissed a securities fraud class action against Electronic Arts, Inc. (EA) and named officers and directors, holding that optimistic statements about...more

Executing Noriega?

As some of you may recall, I posted about a lawsuit Manuel Noriega brought against purveyors of the Call of Duty video game franchise arising from his depiction in the game. In essence, I suggested that Noriega’s lawsuit was...more

Stacy Allen Speaks: Video Game Makers Strike Out In College Athlete Cases – Coaching Tips For The Virtual World

Over the past several years, I have written about a series of decisions in suits brought by former collegiate athletes against EA Sports and the NCAA, seeking compensation for the use of their likenesses and those of...more

Cultural Test (Video Games) Regulations come into force

The Cultural Test (Video Games) Regulations (“Regulations”) came into force today (19 August 2014). The Regulations introduce a “cultural test” for video games, with points being awarded on the basis of setting,...more

Google/Viacom Win Video Privacy Protection Act Case – Common Sense Finally Emerges

In an important decision in a federal court case in New Jersey, In Re Nickelodeon Privacy Litigation, Google and Viacom obtained a dismissal of a claim against them under the Video Privacy Protection Act (“VPPA”). The...more

Online Copyright Protection: an interesting decision by the Italian Communications Authority

On June 26, 2014 the Italian Communications Authority (AGCOM) issued an interesting decision pursuant to the Online Copyright Protection Regulations. This decision is one of the firsts facing the issue of copyrighted...more

FCC Considers Net Neutrality Rules, Could Impact Video Game Industry

“Net neutrality” has become one of the most hotly debated issues before lawmakers and regulators in Washington this year. Proponents of net neutrality argue that the government should regulate the conduct of broadband...more

Criminal Conviction Upheld for Modifying Videogame Console

USA v. Reichert - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently affirmed a defendant’s criminal conviction under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act for trafficking technology that modifies technological...more

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