WinZo, a competitive gaming platform has taken its industry colleague MPL to the courtroom. The allegation of WinZO is the copyright infringement by MPL on one of their titles ‘World War.’ Over the last 5 years, WinZo has innovated formats for social multiple experiences. One such team format proprietary to WinZo was named “World War”.
Commencing in April 2020, the game currently has close to 80 million registered users. The company has applied for a patent for the invention, copyright registration in relation to the expression of the Format, and trademark for ‘World War’.
Around the last week of March 2022, WinZo discovered that MPL has copied the identical format with the identical name, World War.
When this was brought to their notice, MPL, on 28th March, took down the Format completely from their platform. However, in a complete volte-face, MPL re-commenced using the entire identical format with each of the distinctive features in use by WinZo, by 2nd April. This time, while they renamed their tournament as ‘Team Clash’, but the notifications/pop-ups sent to users still used ‘World War’.
WinZo sent a legal notice to MPL and when MPL refused to cease and desist from taking down the Format, WinZo was forced to file a suit seeking injunction to restrain MPL from continuing to use the Format on account of copyright infringement, passing off and unfair competition.
The matter was listed on 3.6.2022, before the Hon’ble Mr. Justice Naveen Chawla of the Delhi High Court.
After the matter was heard at some length, MPL’s counsel stated that the MPL has stopped using the mark “World War” and was willing to give an undertaking that the mark “World War” shall not be used with the Defendant’s game/ offering. Concerning the other allegations made by WinZo, MPL’s Counsel made a statement that MPL shall attempt to resolve the matter through negotiations with WinZo.
The matter is now listed for further proceedings on the 4th of July 2022.
WinZo was represented by Mr. Amit Sibal, Senior Advocate who was briefed by TMT Law Practice team comprising Abhishek Malhotra, Managing Partner and Atmaja Tripathy, Senior Associate.
MPL was represented by Rajshekhar Rao, Sr. Advocate instructed by Mansi Sood.