Let the games begin: Ms Pac Man copyright clash

Everyone of a certain age can recognise the sound of Pac Man in an instant.

This level of recognition can do wonders for a business and will make any brand the diamond in their portfolio.

A recent copyright claim in the US highlights how hard some businesses are willing to fight for this diamond.

Video game developer Bandai Namco has filed a claim citing copyright and trade mark infringement against AtGames, claiming that AtGames have infringed their IP in respect of Ms Pac-Man.

The two companies had a licensing agreement in place which allowed AtGames to use certain rights relating to Pac Man for a classic video game project.

However, it is alleged that AtGames went too far on this and released a product different to what was agreed. The claim states that AtGames released a “Ms. Pac-Man” arcade machine despite not having a licence to any Ms. Pac-Man IP.

Bandai claim that both trade mark and copyright protected works were copied in unauthorised game which has caused them significant reputation damage, especially as AtGames seemingly made false claims about their version’s legitimacy.

Not only have they claimed for damages but Bandai have also asked the court for an injunction.

Time will tell as to who is caught by the IP ghost first and whose case is game over.

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