All the way back in 2014, Capcom filed a lawsuit against KOEI Tecmo for infringing on their patent of how mechanically expansion packs and data was loaded between upgraded titles. In short the main crux was how the “remix” mode worked was using the same mechanism Capcom used before it.
Back then it was assumed this was a false claim and purely derived from Capcom at the time losing money. However it has now been decided in the court of law that Capcom was indeed right to seek council when it came to KOEI Tecmo’s use of this patent. Two patents in particular have been deemed infringed, which you can read below:
Patent A Patent #3350773
The Patent relates to methods for unlocking bonus content when the DVD-ROM of the latest title of a game series is set in a game console, by placing the DVD-ROM of the previous title of the game series into the console.
Patent B Patent #3295771
The Patent relates to informing the player of a game of “information that cannot be perceived visually (such as the presence of an enemy character behind the player)” by vibrating the controller when it is judged that the situation in the game meets certain conditions.
KOEI Tecmo have been charged to pay 143,843,710 JPY (£1,091,111/$1,347,238) in compensation to Capcom.
You can read more about the lawsuit and it’s proceedings in the below press release:
The lawsuit is part of second instance proceedings for a suit raised by Capcom at the Osaka District Court on July 4, 2014 (case number: 2014 (wa) No. 6163), at which Capcom claimed that Koei Tecmo had infringed upon both patent A and patent B.
In the Osaka District Court’s ruling at the first instance (December 14, 2017), the court recognized Capcom’s claim for patent B only (and dismissed Capcom’s claims regarding patent A), handing down a ruling that ordered Koei Tecmo to pay Capcom 5.17 million yen (4.7 million yen in damages and 470 thousand yen in attorney’s fees, etc.). However, with today’s ruling the Intellectual Property High Court has recognized that Capcom’s patents were infringed upon, a decision that Capcom believes demonstrates sound legal judgement.
Capcom is committed to improving customer experiences and expanding the game industry by promoting the effective use of its patents through methods such as licensing, while safeguarding the inventions associated with each of its titles.
What are your thoughts on this sticky situation between Capcom and KOEI Tecmo? Do you think the court system wavered the right side? Let us know in those comments!