When you’re the ancestor of an entire game genre and hold the reins of a billion-dollar intellectual property, imitation, it turns out, isn’t the sincerest form of flattery. . This is the kind of thing that lands you in US federal court. And that’s exactly what Krafton, maker of PUBG Mobile, made to Garena Online following accusations that the Singapore-based game developer has once again breached its battle royale IP. Additionally, Krafton named Google and Apple in its complaint.
This isn’t the first time Krafton has sued Garena Online. In 2017, Krafton filed a complaint in Singapore for the sale of Free fire: battlefields, Garena is suspicious PUBG-like a mobile shooter, but ended up settling this matter. Now Krafton is suing Garena again, more Free fire again, but this time in US federal court.
Krafton alleges that after settling in 2017, Garena immediately resumed selling Free fire both on Google Play and on the Apple App Store without concluding a license agreement to use the disputed game content. Additionally, Garena has started selling another battle royale game with questionable copyright pedigree, Free maximum fire, last September. As such, Krafton is suing Garena for copyright infringement, claiming “Garena has earned hundreds of millions of dollars from its worldwide sales of infringing apps”, and holding the Google and Apple marketplaces liable for damages for content hosting. Krafton, which is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, did not specify damages outside of a statutory $150,000 per violation.
Copyright infringement claims like this are extremely common in the tech industry, with legal departments constantly on the lookout for possible intellectual property infringements, whether intentional or not. For example, earlier this week the App Store was flooded with fakes and clones of the new hit mobile app, Wordle, prompting Apple to intervene and remove the offending iterations.
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