Video Games

News & Analysis as of

District Court Dismisses Securities Class Action Against Electronic Arts

The US District Court for the Northern District of California recently dismissed with prejudice a securities fraud class action against Electronic Arts, Inc. (EA) and its officers, holding that the plaintiffs’ amended...more

Ninth Circuit Reverses Order Striking Class Allegations in Microsoft Xbox Case

The Ninth Circuit reversed an order striking class allegations against Microsoft reasoning that the Washington district court misapplied its precedent and thereby abused its discretion. Plaintiffs alleged that a design defect...more

Baker v. Microsoft Corporation: Game Companies Beware, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Decision May Make It More Difficult to...

A Quick Overview - The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently reversed a district court’s decision to strike the class action allegations of a putative class action against Microsoft. ...more

Around the Virtual World: April 6 – 10, 2015

A weekly wrap up of interesting news about virtual worlds, virtual goods, and other social media. In This Issue: - Will Doctors Soon Prescribe Video Games? - 5 ways the Postal Service could save money...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Winter 2015

Copyrighting Player-Generated Content in Video Games - Last year, consumers spent more than $21 billion on the video game industry. The Entertainment Software Association reports that almost 60% of Americans—roughly...more

Stacy Allen Speaks: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: Unpopular Celebrities And The Right Of Publicity

In retrospect, the victories won by former college football stars in their right of publicity lawsuits against Electronic Arts and its hugely popular NCAA Football videogame franchise are hardly surprising. How could anyone...more

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

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