Blizzard Entertainment Co., Ltd (hereinafter referred to as Blizzard Entertainment) jointly with Shanghai EaseNet Network TechnologyCo., Ltd (EaseNet) filed two lawsuits against Chengdu Qiyou Limited (Seven Games), Beijing Fenbo Times Internet Technology Co., Ltd (Rekoo) and Guangzhou Dongjing Computer Technology Co., Ltd (UCWeb) to Guangzhou IP Court for copyright infringement and unfair competition in two separate cases. The plaintiff argued that the game “Everyone WarCraft: War of Draenor” (formerly known as Chieftain Thrall: The expedition of WarCraft)) produced by Seven Games copied the image of hero and beast in World of WarCraft and used names and decorations similar to those in World of WarCraft. The plaintiff sought injunction and 10 million yuan in damages.

The Court took the cases and ruled that the three defendants to stop infringement and compensated 6 million yuan in damages. The Court held that, the alleged infringing game had the same character with that in “World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor” which constituted similarity. The Seven Games copied “World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor” and did not sign its name without permit which infringed the plaintiff’s rights of reproduction and signature. The Rekoo provided downloading services to the public via internet which infringed the plaintiff’s right of communication through information network.

With respect to the amount of damages, the court ruled that the three defendants compensate 4 million yuan in damages considering the popularity of World of WarCraft, the quantity of infringing works and actual sales revenue generated on the platform of Apple by these defendants. In an unfair competition case, the Plaintiff argued that “Everyone WarCraft: War of Draenor” used the special name of World of WarCraft, decoration and special name of game roles without authorization; the Seven Games used ambiguous language such as “warCraft mobile game” in its promotion of the game which constituted false publicity. Therefore, unfair competition was constituted. The Court upheld the claims of the plaintiff and ruled the defendants to compensate 2 million yuan for economic losses. Recently, some of the defendants appealed. The case will enter the procedure of second-instance.

(by Jiangxu/ Xiao Shengcheng)

source: SIPO China,