Random header image... Refresh for more!

Category — Injunctions

Activision Settles with Two Former Guitar Hero Executives

Categories: Controller CasesCopyright CasesEmployment Law CasesInjunctionsMisc. Contract CasesNon-Compete CasesSettlementsTrade Secret CasesTrademark CasesUnfair Business Practice Casses

In February, Activision launched a new lawsuit against The Ant Commandos (TAC), Reverb Communications and three former Red Octane executives/employees: former executive producer John Tam, brand manager [name removed on request] and hardware group member Jamie Yang. These former executives founded a new company with TAC – Loadstone Entertainment.

Activision has settled with John Tam and [name removed on request]. The two have consented to a permanent injunction restraining the two from:

  • distributing a demo created by TAM incorporating elements of Guitar Hero II;
  • using or disclosing any Activision trade secrets;
  • taking steps to develop drum, guitar or synthesizer-based games for the next year;
  • “working on” a guitar controller for the XBox 360 version of Guitar Hero II for six months after release; and
  • competing against an undisclosed list of peripheral devices for six months after Activision commercially releases them.

The two were also ordered to return all materials relating to Activision’s proprietary information.

As far as I’m aware, no settlement has thus far been reached with Jamie Yang, Reverb or TAC.

Dale’s Comment [written April 26, 2007]: On a personal note, I was one of the lucky one’s to pick up Guitar Hero II for the Xbox 360 on launch day. The local Best Buy had about 100 of them on the morning of the launch. As I understand it, they sold out within hours and, to the date of this writing (owing partially to extreme demand and problems with some versions of the initially released guitar peripheral), I still can’t find them for sale anywhere in Toronto. I would like to purchase a second guitar peripheral. I’m having a blast with this game. As one of the commentators in a recent Joystiq Podcast pointed out, my fingers ache and want to stop playing long before the rest of me does! :)

Sources: GameSpot | Gamasutra | GameIndustry.biz | 1Up.com | CVG | Kotaku

Digg! Digg Del.icio.us 2 Comments 

Take Two Seeks to Enjoin Thompson From Brining GTA IV & Manhunt 2 Suits

Categories: "Inside Baseball"InjunctionsJack ThompsonViolent Game Laws

Text of Complaint (March 13, 2007)

In response to pre-existing threats form Jack Thompson, Take-Two Interactive has preemptively asked the Southern District Court of Florida to provide declaratory and injunctive relief against Jack Thompson to stop him from bringing suit:

  1. to stop the sale and distribution of Manhunt 2 (due out in the summer of 2007) and GTA IV (due out in October 2007); and
  2. seeking pre-publication review of the games;

as he did in the past with Bully. In the words of the complaint:

…declaratory relief is especially necessary here because Thompson has a history of making multiple threats of legal action, whether substantiated or not, both against Plaintiff as well as the retailers who purchase the video games and offer them for sale to the public.

Dale’s Comment: Interestingly, the firm representing Take-Two in this action, Blank Rome, LLP, is the same firm that previously had sought to have Jack Thompson held in contempt of court.

CONTINUE READING →

Digg! Digg Del.icio.us Comments Off 

Federal District Court Judge Makes Louisiana’s Violent Game Bill Injunction Permanent

Categories: DecisionsInjunctionsJack ThompsonViolent Game Law Cases

Text of Short Summary Judgment Ruling (November 29, 2006)
Text of Preliminary Injunction (August 25, 2006)
Text of Temporary Restraining Order
Text of ESA Complaint
Text of Violent Game Bill (HB 1381)

Hot on the heals of the 7th Circuit’s upholding the permanent injunction against Illinois’ Safe Games Illinois Act’, Federal District Court Judge James Brady issued a bench ruling permanently (followed by this short summary judgment ruling) enjoining the application of Louisiana’s, Jack Thompson-drafted, Violent Game Bill.

ESA’s response to the ruling:

“What makes Judge Brady’s action unusual and remarkable is that he issued his ruling from the bench rather than through a written decision, a strong signal that he felt the State’s arguments were so without merit that they didn’t even require a detailed opinion beyond the Judge’s August decision imposing the preliminary injunction. In his August ruling, the Judge emphasized the State’s failure to take into consideration when passing this law the long line of previous cases holding that video games are protected speech. The ESA will immediately file to recover its legal fees from the State as it has successfully done elsewhere.”

“In nine out of nine cases, federal courts have struck down these grandstanding efforts by politicians to ban video game sales to minors. It doesn’t get clearer than that. One hopes that enough is enough. Video games are like rock and roll: they’re here to stay, and it’s about time for elected officials to focus their energies, and taxpayer dollars, on truly productive and useful programs to educate parents to use the tools industry has made available — from ESRB ratings to parental control technologies.”

Sources: GamePolitics.com | Gamespot |ars technica | GameDaily.biz | Gamasutra

Digg! Digg Del.icio.us Comments Off 

Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Permanent Injunction Against ‘Safe Games Illinois Act’

Categories: DecisionsInjunctionsSexuality CasesViolent Game Law Cases

- 7th Circuit Court of Appeal Ruling ESA v. Illinois Decision (November 27, 2006)
- Lower Court Ruling in ESA v. Illinois Decision (December 2, 2005)
- Text of Rejected Act

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has upheld the prior Illinois District Court permanent injunction against the implementation of Illinois’ “Safe Game Illinois Act” that provided for two new criminal laws, the Violent Video Games Law and the Sexually Explicit Video Games Law. Illinois had not appealed the Violent Video Games Law portion of the earlier decision. The Court of Appeal held that the Sexually Explicit Video Games Portion of the Law swept too broadly:

The game God of War… is illustrative of this point. Because the (Illinois law) potentially criminalizes the sale of any game that features exposed breasts, without concern for the game considered in its entirety or for the game’s social value for minors, distribution of God of War is potentially illegal, in spite of the fact that the game tracks the Homeric epics in content and theme. As we have suggested in the past, there is serious reason to believe that a statute sweeps too broadly when it prohibits a game that is essentially an interactive, digital version of the Odyssey.

Similarly, it seems unlikely that a statute is narrowly tailored to achieving the stated compelling interest when it potentially criminalizes distribution of works featuring only brief flashes of nudity.

The Court of Appeal also held that the portion of the law requiring a 4″ warning sticker in addition to the ESRB warning was not sufficiently narrowly tailored.

According to Next Generation (and other sources), the state has not yet paid the $150,000+ legal costs that the court awarded to ESA on August 12, 2006.

Sources: Gamasutra | GameSpot | GameDaily.biz | GamePolitics.com | ars technica | CNet| Chicago Tribune | First Amendment Center | Media Law Prof

GamePolitics Full Coverage of Illinois Game Law

Digg! Digg Del.icio.us Comments Off 

Preliminary Injunction Granted Against Oklahoma ‘Games as Porn’ Law

Categories: DecisionsInjunctionsViolent Game Law Cases

Text of Preliminary Injunction
Text of Law (HB 3004)
As expected, the Oklahoma law that would make it a felony for anyone to sell, rent or display games which contain “inappropriate violence”, has been enjoined. The law would require stores to keep such games hidden in a similar manner to pornographic magazines and videos. The law was set to go into effect on November 1, 2006.

Sources: Gamasutra | GameDaily.biz | ars technica | Law.com | GameSpot | Next Generation | GamePolitics.com

GamePolitics.com Full Coverage of Oklahoma ‘Games as Porn’ Law
Related Posts:

Digg! Digg Del.icio.us Comments Off 

Minnesota Appeals Video Game Law Permanent Injunction

Categories: InjunctionsViolent Game Law Cases

ESA v. Minnesota (March 17, 2008 – 8th Cir Court of Appeals)
Click to hear Oral Arguments on Appeal (Feb 12, 2007)
Text of Appeal (Aug 29, 2006)
Permanent Injunction (July 31, 2006 – District Court)
Text of Complaint (June 6, 2006)
Text of Enjoined Bill (May 22, 2006)

Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch is appealing the last month’s permanent injunction against Minnesota’s violent video game bill.

Sources: GamePolitics 1 | GamePolitics 2 | GameDaily.biz | GameSpot | Gamasutra | 1Up.com | Next Generation

GamePolitics Full Coverage Of Minnesota’s Violent Video Game Law

Digg! Digg Del.icio.us Comments Off 

Preliminary Injunction Granted Against Louisiana Violent Game Bill

Categories: InjunctionsViolent Game Law Cases

Text of Preliminary Injunction
Text of Temporary Restraining Order
Text of ESA Complaint

Text of Violent Game Bill (HB 1381)

No surprise here yet again. Jack Thompson’s violent game bill, criminalizing sales of violent video games to minors, designed to be immune from constitutional challenge – isn’t. Here are a few choice excerpts from Federal District Court Judge James Brady’s decision:

“The State’s argument overlooks a line of cases holding that video games are protected free speech…”

“Defendants (Louisiana) contend that the legislative record contains social science evidence demonstrating that violent video games are harmful. It appears that much of the same evidence has been considered by numerous courts and in each case the connection was found to be tenuous and speculative…”

“The evidence that was submitted to the legislature in connection with the bill that became the statute is sparse and could hardly be called in any sense reliable…”

“Absent an injunction the statute will have a chilling effect on both video game developers and retailers.”.

Dale’s Comment: Owing to the ESA’s failure to certify all local district attorneys as defendants, this preliminary injunction applies only to East Baton Rouge Parish at the moment. It is expected this defect will be resolved and the injunction will shortly be extended state wide. For those keeping track: (i) similar laws in Minnesota, Michigan, Washington State, Illinois, Indianapolis and St. Louis have been ruled unconstitutional and permanently enjoined; (ii) a similar law in California has been temporarily enjoined; (iii) a similar law in Oklahoma is currently being challenged in courts and likely to receive the same fate; (iv) several other states (Florida, Delaware, Maryland, Indiana) have similar laws pending final enactment; and (v) Senators Clinton and Lieberman introduced similar federal legislation to Congress last year.

Sources: GamePolitics.com | Gamasutra | GameDaily.biz | ZDNet | ars technica | Next Generation | Joystiq | MSNBC | CBS (AP)

GamePolitics Full Coverage of Louisiana Violent Game Law

Digg! Digg Del.icio.us Comments Off 

Minnesota’s Violent Video Game Law Overturned – Permanent Injunction Granted

Categories: InjunctionsViolent Game Law Cases

Text of ESA v. Minnesota Permanent Injunction
Text of Complaint
Text of Bill
No surprise here. Yet another State law designed to restrict minors’ access to violent video games has been struck down as unconstitutional. As per Judge James M. Rosenbaum, “…the Act unconstitutionally impinges on expressions protected by the First Amendment…”. The law, set to go into effect on August 1, would have imposed $25 fines on children under 17 who bought or rented video games rated M (Mature) or AO (Adults only). As was the case in other jurisdictions where similarly intentioned laws were struck down, the judge found that Minnesota was “…entirely incapable of showing a causal link between the playing of video games and any deleterious effect on the psychological, moral, or ethical well-being of minors [p. 7] …absent compelling evidence, the belief is pure conjecture”. [p. 13] Accordingly, the bill failed the strict scrutiny test necessary to survive a First Amendment challenge.

Dale’s Comment: For those keeping track: (i) similar laws in Michigan, Washington State, Illinois, Indianapolis and St. Louis have been ruled unconstitutional and permanently enjoined; (ii) a similar law in California has been temporarily enjoined; (iii) similar laws in Louisiana and Oklahoma are currently being challenged in courts and likely to receive the same fate; (iv) several other states (Florida, Delaware, Maryland, Indiana) have similar laws pending final enactment; and (v) Senators Clinton and Lieberman introduced similar federal legislation to Congress last year.

Sources: Gamasutra | GameSpot | ars technica | Next Generation | Joystiq | GameDaily.biz | GamePolitics.com | 1Up.com | Minnesota Star Tribune | Kotaku | First Amendment Central | CNet | IGN | USA Today (AP)

GamePolitics Full Coverage Of Minnesota’s Violent Video Game Law

Digg! Digg Del.icio.us Comments Off 

District Judge Temporarily Blocks Louisiana’s Violent Game Bill

Categories: InjunctionsViolent Game Law Cases

Michigan Game Law Permanently Blocked

Categories: DecisionsInjunctionsViolent Game Law Cases

Text of ESA v. Michigan Permanent Injunction
Text of Michigan Violent Games Law
Following the Illinois District Court’s Dec. 2, 2005 ruling, Judge George Caram Steeh, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan granted the ESA’s motion for summary judgment and handed down a permanent injunction against the state’s Violent Games Law, which was signed into law by Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, ruling it unconstitutional under the First and Fourteenth Amendment. Contrary to the state’s claims, the judge ruled that the state failed to effectively exhibit a link between games and violent behavior.

Sources: GameDaily.biz | ESA Press Release | Next Generation | GamePolitics.com | Gamasutra | XBox Advanced | Business Wire | CNet | Joystiq | Xbox Solution | GameIndustry.biz | GameSpot | ars technica | New York Law Journal | MSNBC | Joystiq | L.A. Times | Detroit Free Press | Inquirer

GamePolitics Full Coverage Of Michigan’s Violent Video Game Law

Related Posts:

Digg! Digg Del.icio.us Comments Off 

Immersion Wins Latest Round Of Sony ‘Rumble’ Suit

Categories: Controller CasesDecisionsInjunctionsPatent Cases

Text of Immersion Patent
Sony’s attempt to overturn $90 million lawsuit by Immersion for copyright infringement was rejected. Sony still has an outstanding appeal with the US Court of Appeals for the stay of injunction. Should that case fail, Sony would be legally required to pay the entire $90.7 million and decide whether or not to pay Immersion licensing fees.

Sources: Gamasutra | Gamespot | Next Generation | GameDaily.biz | ars technica | Forbes | IGN | Inquirer | CNet | CVG | joystiq | Playfuls.com | GameIndustry.biz | Hexus | EuroGamer | The Register | PS3Fanboy.com

Digg! Digg Del.icio.us 1 Comment 

Yahoo! Gets Temporary Restraining Order As MForma CEO Speaks

Categories: Employment Law CasesInjunctionsTrade Secret Cases

A California judge filed a temporary restraining order prohibiting Mobile game firm MForma employees from using allegedly proprietary Yahoo! secrets.

Sources: Gamasutra | GameIndustry.biz | Gamespot | GameDaily.biz

Other Video Game Trade-Secret Posts
Related Posts:

Digg! Digg Del.icio.us Comments Off 

Yee, Schwarzenegger Comment On California Injunction

Categories: InjunctionsViolent Game Law Cases

California Assembly Speaker pro tem Leland Yee and a representative of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger comment on the preliminary injunction halting the implementation of California’s game restriction law.

Source: Gamasutra

GamePolitics Full Coverage Of California’s Violent Video Game Law

Related Posts:

Digg! Digg Del.icio.us Comments Off 

Judge Halts Implementation Of California Violent Game Bill

Categories: InjunctionsViolent Game Law Cases

Text of VSA v. California Preliminary Injunction
Following on the heals of similar decisions in Illinois and Michigan (see stories on Dec 2 and Nov 9, respectively, below), Northern California District Judge Ronald Whyte handed down a preliminary injunction halting the implementation of California’s Game Restriction Bill (see Oct 7, 2005 story below). The law was set to go into effect as of January 1, 2006.

Sources: Gamespot | Gamasutra | GameDaily.biz | | Forbes | San Jose Mercury News | San Francisco Chronicle | L.A. Times | Reuters | MSN Money | ZDNet | TechNewsWorld | 1Up.com | ABC News | USA Today | CNet

VSDA Comments on Injunction | IEMA Comments on Injunction

GamePolitics Full Coverage Of California’s Violent Video Game Law

Related Posts:

Digg! Digg Del.icio.us Comments Off 

Illinois District Judge Rejects Safe Game Illinois Act

Categories: InjunctionsSexuality CasesViolent Game Law Cases

Text of ESA v. Illinois Decision
Text of Rejected Act

In ESA v. Illinois, an Illinois District Court issued a permanent injunction against the implementation of Illinois’ “Safe Game Illinois Act” that implemented two new criminal laws, the Violent Video Games Law and the Sexually Explicit Video Games Law, finding that each violate the First Amendment.

Sources: Gamasutra | MSNBC | Chicago Tribune | CBS News | L.A. Times | Chicago Sun Times | Next Generation | Gamers.com | joystiq | ESA Statement

GamePolitics Full Coverage of Illinois Game Law

Digg! Digg Del.icio.us Comments Off 

Michigan Game Law Temporarily Blocked

Categories: InjunctionsViolent Game Law Cases

Text of Preliminary Injunction
District Court judge prevents ban on sales of violent games to minors from taking effect, says the act is “unlikely to survive strict scrutiny.

Sources: Gamespot | GameDaily.biz | Gamasutra | Next-gen.biz | 1Up.com

GamePolitics Full Coverage Of Michigan’s Violent Video Game Law

Related Posts:

Digg! Digg Del.icio.us Comments Off 

Injunction Against ‘Guy Game’ Sales Upheld in Invasion of Privacy Action

Categories: DecisionsInjunctionsPrivacy Cases

In this interlocutory appeal, the court determined that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding that the plaintiff may be entitled to relief for invasion of privacy by misappropriation, and that the injunction was necessary to prevent irreparable harm. It also ruled that the trial court’s decision to allow the plaintiff to proceed as “Jane Doe” was not appealable, and, in any event, would not prejudice the defendants.

Sources: Media Law Reporter | Davis & Co. LLP

Related Posts:

Digg! Digg Del.icio.us Comments Off 

Sony Wins Injunction Against PSP Importer ElectricBirdLand

Categories: Grey Market CasesImport/Export CasesInjunctionsTrademark Cases

Online retailer ElectricBirdLand ordered to stop selling handhelds with immediate effect

Sources: GameIndustry.biz | Channel Register

Related Posts:

Digg! Digg Del.icio.us Comments Off 

Play It Wins Injunction Against I-Play

Categories: InjunctionsTrademark Cases

In a passing off claim, UK publisher Play It has been granted an interim injunction against I-Play, preventing the firm – which previously operated under the name of Digital Bridges – from using its new company logo.

Sources GameIndustry.biz | Play-It’s Press Release | Practical Law Co. | Midlet Review

Related Posts:

Digg! Digg Del.icio.us Comments Off 

Sony Appeals Immersion Suit, Wins Stay on Injunction

Categories: Controller CasesInjunctionsPatent CasesPolice Actions

Text of Immersion Patent
Following the January decision against Sony in Immersion Corp’s lawsuit, which alleged that Sony had violated its patents on force-feedback mechanisms with the Dual Shock controller, Sony is appealing the decision to the Federal court.

Sources: Gamasutra | CNet

Digg! Digg Del.icio.us Comments Off 

Topheavy Enjoined from Guy Game Sales

Categories: InjunctionsPersonality Rights CasesPolice ActionsSexuality Cases

Travis Co. District Judge Suzanne Covington granted a restraining order and, in January, granted a subsequent request for a temporary injunction against Topheavy. As a result, copies of The Guy Game have been removed from store shelves.

Source: Austin Chronicle

Related Posts:


Digg! Digg Del.icio.us Comments Off