Video Game Law Database

Case nameCitationJurisdictionDateArea of LawSummarytags
Atari, Inc. v. Williams1981 WL 1400E.D. Cal. Dist. Ct.1981Copyright, TM Court found nothing protectible in the “strategy” of “Pac- Man”; “Jawbreaker” does not infringe.Copyright
America’s Best Family Showplace Corp. v. City of New York, Dept. of Bldgs.536 F.Supp. 170E.D.N.Y. Dist. Ct.1982Free SpeechCourt refused an injunction against a New York bylaw because it did not recognize video games as free speech.Art, free speech, 1st amendment
Atari, Inc. v. Tryom Inc.1983 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11582 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 17, 1983)Ill. Dist. Ct.1982CopyrightCourt held that Tyrom’s “Gobbleman” contained symbols, characters, and non-functional design features too similar to “Pac-Man”; gained a injuction against TryomCopyright
Atari, Inc. v. Video Amusements of Canada, Ltd.547 F.Supp. 222Can. FCTD1982CopyrightOne of the first Canadian cases; question for trial was whether copyright extended to source code.
Magnavox Co. v. Mattel, Inc.1981 WL 639687N.D. Ill. Dist. Ct.1982PatentFirst patent case involving patent for a computer-based video game with a microprocessor; Magnavox’s “pioneer patent” entitled to the broadest protection possible.
Nintendo of America, Inc. v. Elcon Industries564 F.Supp. 937Mich. Dist. Ct.1982CopyrightNintendo successful in seeking an injunction against a “Donkey Kong” copycat.
Williams Electronics Inc. v. Artic International, Inc.685 F.2d 870US COA, 3rd1982CopyrightKey early case establishing the elements of video games that are protected by copyright
Midway Mfg. Co. v. Artic International Inc704 F.2d 1009US CA 7th Cir.1983Copyright, ModsAnother important early copyright decision, considering whether user-altered sequence of visuals can be called a derivative work.
Midway Manufacturing Co. v. Dirkschneider543 F.Supp. 466Neb. Dist Ct1983Copyright, TMCourt finds defendants liable for copyright and TM infringement after they sold games “strikingly similar” in many aspects to Midway’s games.
Brown v. Entertainment Merchant's Association131 S. Ct. 2729;US SC2011Free SpeechVideo games afforded free speech protectionSupreme Court, violent, violence
Hart v. Electronic Arts, Inc2011 WL 4005350D.N.J.2011NCAA Football. Former players sue EA for right of publicityNCAA, football, california, right of publicity, transformative, test
Universal City Studios, Inc. v. Nintendo Company Inc., Nintendo of America, Inc746 F.2d 112US COA, 2nd Cir.1984TMThe beginning of a long, arduous legal battle between Universal and Nintendo over whether “Donkey Kong” infringed Universal’s rights in “King Kong”. The courts ultimately found that it did not and there was no confusion between the marks.
Universal City Studios, Inc. v. Nintendo Company Inc., Nintendo of America, Inc615 F.Supp. 838S.D.N.Y.1985CopyrightSee above. In this case, Nintendo also counterclaimed for tortious interference with contracts.
Universal City Studios, Inc. v. Nintendo Company Inc., Nintendo of America, Inc797 F.2d 70US COA 2nd Cir.1986TMThe appeal of the above the case. The Court of Appeal upheld the trial court’s decision.
Irwin Toy Ltd. v. Quebec (AG)1 S.C.R. 927SC of Canada1989Free SpeechA seminal freedom of expression case in Canada, holding the commercial speech is protected under the Charter, but that the legislature was justified in restricting advertising aimed at children.
Nintendo of America, Inc. v. Magnavox Co.707 F.Supp. 717S.D.N.Y.1989PatentNintendo sought to challenge Magnavox’s “pioneer patent” in video game systems; Nintendo failed to meet certain burdens and was unsuccessful.
Watters v. TSR, Inc904 F.2d 378US COA 6th Cit1990Game Violence/ NegligenceAn unsuccessful action in negligence against the Violence/Negligencemanufacturer of “Dungeons and Dragons” following an avid fan’s suicide.
Accolade, Inc. v. Distinctive Software, Inc1990 WL 180239N.D. Cal. Dist. Ct.1990CopyrightAn action brought against the defendant, a licensee, alleging that they developed a similar game for a competitor; court found that the plaintiff did not own the rights to the source code.
Morse v. Nintendo of America, Inc.1990 WL 118100N.D. Cal. Dist. Ct.1990Anti- trust/JurisdictionOne of a number of anti-trust actions brought against Nintendo in the early nineties; Nintendo unsuccessfully challenged the court’s jurisdiction to hear the anti-trust case.
States of N.Y. and Md. v. Nintendo of America, Inc.775 F.Supp. 676S.D. New York1991Anti-trust
State of New York v. Nintendo of America, Inc.1991 WL 148830S.D.N.Y. Dist. Ct.1991Anti-trustFollowing the settlement of the anti-trust cases, the Attorneys General challenged the fairness of the settlement agreement. Nintendo was required to pay money to both consumers and the states.
Keller v. Electronic Arts, Inc.2010 WL 530108N.D. Cal.2010Right of Publicity
Russell v. National College Athletics AssociationNo. 4:2011-cv-04938N.D. Cal.2011Right of PublicityNCAA, right of publicity, basketball
No Doubt v. Activision Publishing, Inc.122 Cal. Rptr. 3d. 397Cal. Ct. App.2011Right of PublicityNo Doubt sues Activision over band hero. Transformative test found not to be met.
Dillinger, LLC v. Electronic Arts, Inc.1:09-cv-1236-JMS-DKL, 2011 WL 2457678S.D. Ind.2011Right of Publicity
Magnavox Co. v. Activision, Inc.848 F.2d 12441985
Walker Digital, LLC v. 2K GamesNo. 1:11-cv-00368D. Del.2011PatentTroll
Walker Digital, LLC v. Activision, Inc.No. 1:11-cv-00004D. Del.2011PatentTroll
Impulse Tech v. MicrosoftNo. 1:11-cv-00586D. Del.2011Patent
Zynga, Inc. v. Vostu USA, Inc.No. 5:11-cv-02959N.D. Cal.2011Copyright
SocialApps, LLC v. Zynga, Inc.No. 5:11-cv-04910C.D. Cal.2011Copyright
The Learning Company v. Zynga, Inc.No. 1:11-cv-10894D. Mass2011Copyright
Augusta National, Inc. v. CustomPlay Games Ltd.No. 1:11-cv-00119S.D. Ga.2011Trademark, Trade Dress
Pebble Beach Co. v. Tour 18 Ltd.155 F.3d 526US CA 5th Circuit1998Trademark, Trade Dress
Atari Interactive v. Wan2:11-cv-05224C.D. Cal.2011Copyright, TrademarkKnock-off, counterfeit, consoles
Antonisk v. Electronic Arts, Inc.No. 3:11-cv-01543N.D. Cal.2011Contract
Gate Five, LLC v. Beyonce Knowles-Carter2011 WL 1572174N.Y. Sup.2011Contract
West v. Activision Publishing, Inc.2011Contract
Silicon Knights, Inc. v. Epic Games, Inc.No. 5:07-cv-275E.D.N.Y.2007Contract
In re Sony PS3 Other OS Litig.2011 WL 6117892N.D. Cal.2011
Fineman v. Sony Network Entertainment International, LLCNo. 3:2011-cv-05680N.D. Cal.2011
Mitchell v. Sony Computer Entertainment America, LLCNo. 11-cv-03601C.D. Cal.2011
Cupp v. Sony Computer Entertainment America, LLCNo. 11-cv-03627C.D. Cal.2011
321 Studios v. Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios, Inc.307 F. Supp. 2d 1085N.D. Cal2004
A. Schroeder Music Publishing Co. v. MacAulay[1971] 1 W.L.R. 1308, [1974] 3 All E.R. 616H.L.1971
Activision Inc. v. Microprose Software Inc., No. 97-cv-08302C.D. Cal.Novermber 12, 1997
Activision Publishing Inc. v. Gibson Guitar Corp.No. CV 08–1653–MRP (SHx), 2009 WL 586629, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21931C.D. Cal. 20102010
Activision Publishing Inc. v. Jason WestCase No. SC 107041Superior Court of the State of Los Angeles2010
ADC Technology v. Microsoft Corp.No. 2:08-cv-01579-RSMW.D. Wash.2008
Agar v. Canning[1965] M.J. No. 24, 54 W.W.R. 302, (Man. Q.B.), affd [1966] M.J. No. 10, 55 W.W.R. 384Man. Q.B., Man. C.A.1965
Agere Systems, Inc. v. Sony Corp.2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39605E.D. Tex.2008
Agincourt Gaming LLC v. Zynga Inc.No. 1:2011-cv-00720D. Del.2011
Ahn v. Midway Mfg. Co.U.S. Dist LEXIS 247601st Cir. (R.I.)1997
Aitken v. Vivendi Universal GameLos Angeles County Superior Court2004
Allendale Leasing, Inc. v. Stone1986 U.S. App LEXIS 247601st Cir. (R.I.)1986
Alliance of Canada Cinema, Television & Radop Artists v. Bell Aliant Regional Communications, L.P.S.C.C.A. No. 336S.C.C.2010
Alpex Computer Corp. v. Nintendo Co.102 F.3d 1214Fed. Cir.1996
Amazon.com, Inc. v. Canada (Attorney General) affd in part (sub nom. Canada (Attorney General) v. Amazon.com, Inc.)[2010] F.C.J. No. 1621, 2010 FC 1011 (F.C.T.D.), 2011 FCA 328, affd in part [2011] F.C.J. No. 1621, 2011 FCA 328 (F.C.A.)F.C.A., F.C.T.D.2010
America's Best Showplace Corp. v. The City of New York, Dept. of Buildings536 F. Supp. 170E.D.N.Y.1982
American Amusement Machines Assn. v. Kendrick244 F.3d 572, writ of certiorari denied, 122 S. Ct. 462 (U.S. 2001)7th Cir.2001
Anascape, Ltd. v. Nintendo America, Inc. 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11828 rev'd 601 F.3d 1333 (Fed. Cir. 2008)E.D. Tex.2008
Anascape, Ltd. v. Nintendo America, Inc. rev'd 601 F.3d 1333 (Fed. Cir. 2008)Fed. Cir.2008
Antonick v. Electronic Arts Inc.No. 3:2011-cv-01543N.D. Cal.March 30, 2011
Atari Corp. v. 3DO Co.1994 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8677N.D. Cal.1994
Atari Corp. v. Sega of America1994 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17548, 869 F. Supp. 783N.D. Cal.1994
Ateri Games Corp. v. Nintendo of America, Inc.975 F.2d 832Fed. Cir.1992
Atari Games Corp. v. OMan1992 U.S. App. LEXIS 30499D.C. Cir1992
Atari Games Corp. And Tengen, Inc. v. Nintendo of America Inc. and Nintendo Co. 975 F.2d 832Fed. Cir.1992
Atari Inc. v. Armernia, Ltd., and Gordon Steinberg1981 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16561N.D. Ill.1981
Atari, Inc. v. Video Amusement of Canada Ltd.[1982] F.C.J. No. 1100F.C.T.D.1982
Atari, Inc. v. Amusement World1981 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17278D. Md.1981
Atari, Inc. v. J.S. & A Group, Inc.597 F. Supp 5N.D. Ill.1983
Atari, Inc. v. North American Philips Consumer Electronics Corp.672 F.2d 6077th Cir.1982
Atari, Inc. v. Tryom, Inc. 1983 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11582N.D. Ill.1983
Atari, Inc. V. Williams 1981 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17667E.D. Cal.1981
Athans v. Canadian Adventure Camps Ltd.17 O.R. (2d) 425Ont. H.C.J.1977
Australian Video Retailers Assn. v. Warner Home Video Pty Ltd.[2011] FCA 1719; (2001) 114 FCR 324Australia2001

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