Monday September 17,2012 : CARDROOM BACK FOR A BITE OF FULL TILT
Laying claim to Full Tilt's software
Our readers will recall a report on software company Cardroom International who towards the end of last year laid legal claim to $30 million of the contents in the five bank accounts related to the Black Friday indictments. At the time CI felt the company was blocked from licensing its software to major media companies by the actions of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker who dominated the media with advertising and airtime buys pre-Black Friday.
Despite the claim being refuted by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ), Cardroom International is seemingly back for another bite following the successful completion of a deal between the DoJ, PokerStars and Full Tilt.
According to U.S. Legal Poker Sites, Cardroom International filed claim on August 20, 2012 with the Superior Court of California in Los Angeles County to the rights of Full Tilt's software.
The claim goes back to 2001, where CI claims that Full Tilt was established through the company BH Development around October 15, 2001. At the time, BH Development allegedly recruited Chris Ferguson as an investor, who in turn introduced other investors to the company, two of which are named in the claim as Howard Lederer and Ray Bitar.
According to CI, Ferguson circumvented the investment process by allying his investors with an employee of the company named as Perry Friedman and forming what was then dubbed "The Jesus Coalition".
Subsequently BH Development initiated a lawsuit based on the actions of the coalition in 2003 with a settlement outcome that included that: "The Jesus Coalition" relinquish all interests in BH Development without the return of their investment; "The Jesus Coalition" would take full control of the Full Tilt Poker trade name and URLs; but reached agreement on a joint copyright interest in the BH Development software where neither party could transfer the assets without the others consent.
BH Development went on to develop the software for the now defunct Jet Set Poker, while Ferguson et al developed Full Tilt's software.
Following bankruptcy in 2006, an affiliate of Cardroom International reportedly acquired the software rights previously owned by BH Development, re-launching Cardroom.com in 2008.
Based on the joint copyright settlement outcome in 2003, Cardroom International has amended its claim to reflect that no transfer of software could be made without their consent.
In response filed September 5, 2012, the U.S. Attorneys Office's (USAO) requested the court deny the amendment due to the “undue delay, prejudice, and bad faith” of the late filing of a claim to the software rights. It states that “the software and related copyrights were joint but non-exclusive” and “cannot assert a direct interest in Full Tilt’s joint but separate interests that were forfeited and transferred”.
Filings can be viewed at: http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/new-york/nysdce/1:2011cv02564/377900/252/0.pdf?ts=1345557654