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Cheating in video games – lessons from Blizzard’s successful case against cheat and bot developer

Gaming Station
Friday, 23 August 2019 By Oliver Fairhurst

Blizzard, the video game developer and publisher behind hugely successful games such as World of Warcraft, Starcraft and Overwatch, has recently won its claim against a developer of cheat software. The case highlights some of the key issues in play in the world of video games, and what is involved in calculating the money owed to a game developer that makes a successful claim for copyright infringement.

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Written by

Oliver Fairhurst

Oliver Fairhurst

Senior Associate, Lewis Silkin

Oliver advises on a wide range of clients across a broad spectrum of industry sectors with a particular focus on retail, advertising & marketing and media & entertainment.

Oliver has assisted clients in a number of reported cases, including before the High Court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and EU courts.

+44 (0)20 7074 3173

Examples of his work include:

  • Intellectual property: advising on the intersection between intellectual property rights and the businesses of brands. This includes trade marks (including comparative advertising and parallel importing), copyright, passing off and designs, licensing of IP rights, and the registration & management of IP rights. I act for both rights holders and those who claim that their rights have been infringed. Notable cases include Jack Wills v House of Fraser [2016] EWHC 626 (Ch).
  • Reputation management: acting for individuals and companies whose reputations are threatened or harmed, as well as for publishers. This includes before the Independent Press Complaints Organisation and in the High Court and Court of Appeal. I worked on the Lachaux v AOL libel action that was the first case to reach the Court of Appeal (and subsequently the Supreme Court) since the introduction of the Defamation Act 2013.
  • Competition: advising in relation to compliance with competition law, dealing with investigations by regulatory authorities, and private litigation. I have also completed the King’s College London Postgraduate Diplomat in EU Competition Law.
  • Regulatory investigations: advising in relation to investigations by the Serious Fraud Office, Competition & Markets Authority and various sector focused regulators such as the Advertising Standards Authority and Ofcom.
  • IP portfolio management: working with trade mark attorneys and other IP specialists to advise on the registration of trade marks and designs, portfolio management and enforcement of rights (and defence of such claims). I am regularly involved in proceedings before the UK Intellectual Property Office, EU Intellectual Property Office, Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, High Court and EU Courts.
  • Advertising: advising brands, advertising agencies, media owners and publishers on the contractual relationships between advertising agencies and their clients, risks involved with particular campaigns, disputes between brands (including in relation to comparative advertising), regulatory investigations and clearance, including compliance with the CAP and BCAP Codes, and intellectual property considerations involved in advertising.
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