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Bandai Namco sues AtGames for Ms. Pac-Man copyright infringement

Bandai Namco has filed a lawsuit against AtGames for copyright infringement of its character, Ms. Pac-Man.

Though the developer/publisher acknowledges it has a business relationship which gave AtGames permission to create some officially licensed products, Bandai Namco Entertainment America said that whilst AtGames CEO Ping-Kang Hsiung approached Bandai on several occasions to sell plug-and-play handheld devices featuring Ms. Pac-Man, the company “expressly rejected” these proposals and did not grant a license for AtGames to use Ms. Pac-Man in any way.

Now, in a complaint filed last Friday, September 20th, at the US District Court for the Northern District of California, the lawsuit alleges AtGames of counterfeiting, unfair competition, and false advertising (thanks, GI.biz). It also alleges AtGames failed to meet the terms of its contract and it’s licensed goods were “materially different” from the approved version, causing “irreparable harm to [Bandai’s] reputation and goodwill.”

“The unauthorised Ms. Pac-Man product applies the exact Ms. Pac-Man mark, as well as images of the copyrighted Ms. Pac-Man arcade decals and characters, including but not limited to various iterations of the Ms. Pac-Man and ghost characters, on the machine,” the complaint said.

Bandai Namco also claims AtGames made false claims to retailers, describing its products as authorised when they were not. 

In other copyright news, Nintendo’s latest complaint is against ROM website RomUniverse, which seeks $150,000 for each copyright infringement and up to $2 million for violations of its trademarks.

Filing the lawsuit on September 10th, 2019, Nintendo of America purports the pirated games display “counterfeit copies of Nintendo’s trademarks” when they’re launched on the emulator programs, as well as infringing the copyright of the individual games themselves. Is it the latest in a line of copyright disputes.

“As of the date of filing this complaint, hundreds of thousands of copies of Nintendo games have been illegally downloaded through the website including nearly 300,000 downloads of copies of pirated Nintendo Switch games and more than 500,000 copies of pirated Nintendo 3DS games,” the complaint said.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond.

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