Dena must pay Gree $3m after copyright ruling

Dena must pay Gree $3m after copyright ruling

By Rob Crossley

February 24th 2012 at 11:46AM

Tokyo judge orders game removed from online store; Dena indicates it will appeal

Mobile games giant Dena must no longer publish one of its games and pay rival group Gree $2.9 million in damages, a Tokyo District Court has ruled.

Gree is appealing the decision.

The court order brings an end to a 30-month lawsuit between the mobile and social games companies, according to a report published on by web consultancy form Serkantoto.

Both publicly-listed companies remain engaged in another lawsuit, where Gree alleges that Dena has pressured third-party developers to avoid working with competing platforms. Dena has submitted a countersuit.

On Thursday, a Tokyo judge ruled that Dena’s social fishing game Tsurige Town had unfairly copied certain elements from Gree’s similar title Tsuri Star.

Tsuri Star is said to be a lucrative product for Gree.

Dena must now remove Tsurige Town from the Mobage platform, though it is unclear if the company’s appeal process means the game can remain online until a second verdict is reached.

The ruling follows several months of flare-ups between competing mobile and social games companies, with the issue of copyright and plagiarism at the centre of many disputes.

Blizzard is suing Valve over trademark disagreements, Klab is suing Crooz over plagiarism claims, Konami is suing Gloops in a copyright infringement dispute, and Spry Fox is suing 6Waves Lolapps after alleging it stole trade secrets.

The most prominent of these disputes in the west was brought to light by Tiny Tower developer Nimblebit, which alleged that Zynga unfairly imitated its game idea for the new mobile game Dream Heights. At the time of going to press it is not believed that the dispute has resulted in a lawsuit.