XFire Sues GameSpy Over Battlefield 2142′s Buddy Sync Feature
Viacom-owned XFire has sued News Corp subsidiary IGN alleging the GameSpy Comrade "Buddy Sync" feature included with the hot title Battlefield 2142, infringes its copyrights. Comrade Buddy Sync accesses a user's friends lists from third party instant messaging programs (including XFire and AOL Instant Messenger) thereby allowing the gamer to see which friends are online and facilitating friend invites into games – a feature that is directly competitive with XFire's core functionality. District Court Judge Susan Illston denied Xfire's request for a preliminary injunction.
Dale's Comment: I haven't found the pleadings online. As I understand it the case alleges copyright infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets. Proving copyright infringement is difficult because a successful case requires a finding of significant copying of underlying source code – something that is highly unlikely to have occurred. Noting about how XFire works seems to be a trade secret. How XFire works is common knowledge in the industry. If it was a trade secret then how did GameSpy find out about it? Barring some kind of fiduciary or contractual duty to keep XFire's trade secrets secret, I don't know how XFire can make out a case on this basis.
- XFire Sues GameSpy Over Battlefield 2142's Buddy Sync Feature (October 31, 2006)
- Yahoo!, Xfire Settle Lawsuit (February 9, 2006)
- Xfire, Yahoo! Near Terms of Patent Dispute Settlement (November 23, 2005)
- Xfire Countersues Yahoo! (March 11, 2005)
- Yahoo! Sues Xfire for Patent Infringement (February 4, 2005)