Chinese v. U.S. Video Game Claims Survive

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – A federal judge refused to dismiss claims that a mobile video game developer stole a competitor’s software code to create an identical version of its game “The Legend of Sword and Tower.”
     Lilith Games Co., based in Shanghai, sued uCool in March, claiming the U.S.-based company stole copyrighted software code for the game, known in Chinese as “Dao Ta Chuan Qi.”
     Lilith claims uCool swiped 240,000 lines of code to create an identical game called “Heroes Charge.”
     uCool sought dismissal with prejudice on May 1, claiming that Lilith’s trade secret claim did not properly allege misappropriation, that that claim and the unfair competition claims are preempted by the Copyright Act, and that the unfair competition claims are pre-empted by the trade secrets claim.
     U.S. District Judge Samuel Conti rejected two of the three arguments.
     “Lilith adequately alleged misappropriation, and neither its misappropriation claims nor its unfair competition claims are preempted by the Copyright Act,” Conti wrote. “Lilith’s unfair competition claims, however, are pre-empted by its trade secrets misappropriation claim.”
     Conti found that “Lilith’s UCL claims are based exclusively on Lilith’s trade secret misappropriation claim. Because Lilith alleges the same factual allegations in its UCL and CUTSA (California Uniform Trade Secrets Act) claims, the UCL claims are preempted by the CUTSA.”
     He dismissed the unfair competition claims with leave to amend “if Lilith is able to add allegations to avoid preemption.”

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