Video Games

News & Analysis as of

Potential Liabilities In Managing A Multigenerational Workforce

A recent CNN segment highlighted the use of video games as part of the job interview process, and other news articles have explained that some employers rely on these games to assess, beyond the traditional job interview, an...more

Pennsylvania Tavern Games Licenses [Video]

At the end of 2013, Act 90 was passed into law. Act 90 allows certain liquor license holders to have tavern games in their establishment. If you currently have a Restaurant, Hotel, Privately Owned Public Golf Course, or...more

With Nowhere to Hide, Couch Potatoes Offer Opportunity and Peril for Content Providers

The emerging home entertainment market is rife with both opportunity and peril for media and entertainment content providers. Home entertainment is increasingly provided through “Smart” devices such as Microsoft Xbox and...more

Video games tax credit finally receives state aid approval

The European Commission has finally given the green light to the proposed UK video games tax credit which will now come into effect from 1 April 2014....more

Cyberlaw: Of Athletes And Video Games

Can a video game company use an athlete’s likeness in a game without his or her permission? The answer is maybe. The Ninth Circuit recently rejected Jim Brown’s Lanham Act Section 43 claim against Electronic Arts, Inc....more

Kid Gamers: Safe Harbors for Video Game Providers

As online social gaming becomes more pervasive in the lives of children today, it is vital for video game providers to understand and comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule (“COPPA Rule”). The COPPA...more

Leggo My Likeness Part V: Grand Theft Right of Publicity?

This year, several important video game lawsuits helped clarify the parameters for using a celebrity’s likeness in video games. Generally speaking, courts have found that, unless you get permission, you can’t put a celebrity...more

District Court Declines to Certify Damages Subclass in NCAA Case

On November 8, 2013, the Northern District of California certified a class of current and former student athletes seeking injunctive relief under the Sherman Act but declined to certify a damages subclass in the case In re...more

App Developer Wins in SCRABBLE Battle

Zynga, the world’s largest app-developer has scored a win against the owner of the SCRABBLE brand. This case brings up several interesting points about international trade-mark protection in the era of apps....more

When Does the Right of Publicity Trump a Video Game Maker’s First Amendment Rights?

On September 24, 2013, Electronic Arts, Inc. (“EA”) reached a $40 million dollar settlement of lawsuits over the use of college athletes’ likenesses in EA’s popular college football video game series NCAA Football. EA also...more

IP/Entertainment Law Weekly Case Update for Motion Picture Studios and Television Networks -- October 24, 2013

Lewis v. Activision Blizzard, USDC, N.D. Cal, October 17, 2013 - District court grants summary judgment against former employee “game master” of defendant videogame company, finding that sound recordings of employee...more

Balancing Freedom Of Expression And The Right Of Publicity: Implications For The Future Of Interactive Entertainment

Freedom of expression bowed to the right of publicity on July 31, 2013, when a divided panel at the Ninth Circuit ruled that college athletes could proceed in litigation against Electronic Arts (“EA”) for making sports-based...more

Video Game Resources

A couple of noteworthy recent publications relating to the Canadian video game industry: - the Entertainment Software Association of Canada has released the final version of its report Canada’s Video Game Industry in...more

October 2013: Sports Litigation Update - Athletes Prevail in Right of Publicity Suits Against Video Game Designer

Two federal appellate courts held this summer that the First Amendment does not insulate video game maker Electronic Arts (“EA”) from right of publicity suits brought by football players whose likenesses it used as part of...more

From Couch Potatoes To Pro Athletes: USCIS Includes Video Gamers in P Visa Category

After intensive lobbying by Riot Games, a Santa Monica-based gaming company, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) is now issuing visas that are normally given to foreign professional athletes to professional...more

Madden Football Copyright Verdict Under Booth Review

Electronic Arts, Inc. (“EA”), owner of the $4 billion John Madden Football videogame franchise, thought it had a pretty good defense when Robin Antonick filed suit in the Federal Court for the Northern District of California,...more

Copyright Assignment Termination After 35 Years: The Video Game Industry Comes of Age

A little-known section of the Copyright Act allows designers and developers of video games to terminate copyright assignments granted after January 1, 1978. Section 203 of the Act was intended to give creators of...more

Sixth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Shareholder Class Action Due to Plaintiff’s Failure to Plead Recklessness

The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently affirmed an Ohio district court’s decision to dismiss a securities fraud putative class action accusing Defendant Zoo Entertainment, Inc. (Zoo), a video game software...more

Ninth Circuit Fumbles The Ball In Videogame Likeness Cases

Creating a new rule that gives videogames much more limited protection than other expressive works, the Ninth Circuit has ruled that realistically depicting college athletes in videogames showing them doing what they became...more

Crushing App-Cloning

King.com, maker of some of the most popular Facebook and mobile games, filed a complaint in the Northern District of California Tuesday, claiming competitor 6Waves cloned King's Pet Rescue Saga and Farm Hero Saga games in...more

Evolving Case Law on the Fair Use of Famous Trademarks in Video Games

A recent spate of cases has generally upheld, on First Amendment grounds, a developer’s right to include unlicensed trademarks in video games. However, until the body of case law becomes so prevalent that trademark owners...more

Calling All Gamers

As some of you may know, the most recent installment of the Call of Duty franchise is set to hit stores later this fall–November 5 to be exact....more

Tomita v. Nintendo: Remittitur or New Trial Ordered on $30M Damage Verdict Where Jury Likely Weighed Profitability of Games Rather...

Tomita Technologies USA, LLC ("Tomita") won a jury verdict of $30M against Nintendo in patent infringement action. The jury found that Nintendo's 3DS infringed the patent-in-suit (the '664 patent) and that the '664 patent was...more

Advertising Law -- Aug 15, 2013

FTC Updates COPPA Guidance - As promised, the Federal Trade Commission has provided additional updates to its Frequently Asked Questions guidance regarding the new Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule which took...more

Litigation Alert: Ninth Circuit Assesses Use of Player Likenesses in Video Games

On Wednesday, July 31, 2013, the Ninth Circuit issued two opinions assessing the parameters of use of individual player likenesses in video games in two highly watched cases...more

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