U.S. News | Bandai Namco Sues Rival over Classic Ms. Pac-Man Character


Bandai Namco, a video game developer and publisher has filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Northern District of California against a rival developer, AtGames alleging trademark and copyright infringement, as well as counterfeiting, unfair competition and false advertising.

The Japanese game developer, Bandai Namco Entertainment America, a U.S. arm of Bandai Namco Entertainment alleges that the defendant infringed on its IP covering the classic Ms. Pac-Man character.

The plaintiff alleges that it owned and has registered its Ms. Pac-Man trademark with U.S. number 1,279,066.

According to the lawsuit, both parties had a business relationship involving the licensing of certain rights to AtGames for use in its classic video games development, specifically in relation to Pac-Man.

Bandai Namco reportedly said that AtGames failed to keep the terms of its agreement and released a version of the Pac-Man product it was developing different from the approved version by Bandai Namco thereby causing damage to its reputation and integrity.

Bandai Namco reportedly said that AtGames released a “Ms. Pac-Man” arcade machine without having a licence to any Ms. Pac-Man IP and claiming legitimacy of its product in order to convince retailers to sell its unauthorized product.

“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 without authorization”, Bandai Namco reportedly said.

Bandai Namco is seeking jury trial, permanent injunction and payment of triple damages.

The case is pending.

BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. v. ATGAMES HOLDINGS, LTD.

Court:California Central District Court
Case #:5:19-cv-05898
Nature of Suit:Trademark
Cause:Trademark Infringement
Case Filed: September 20, 2019
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About Nathaniel Adebayo 497 Articles
Nathaniel is a News Reporting Intern at Nigerian Law Intellectual Property Watch (NLIPW). He has a passion for writing, capacity building and social media marketing. He is a graduate of Federal University of Technology, Minna, where he graduated with BTECHAGRIC. He is a member of Soil Science Society of Nigeria (SSSN) and the National Union of Campus Journalist (NUCJ). Nathaniel has served as Editor-in-Chief for a number of magazines and as a contributor to various online repositories. Email: anathaniel@nlipw.com

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