Tuesday July 16,2013 : ONLINE GAMBLING SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS IN DUTCH COURT ACTION
Sheriff Gaming wins appeal litigation launched by BetSoft Gaming
Two online gambling games developers battled in a Dutch court this week over the use of an expanding "zoom effect" in software when winning lines on a slot machine are hit.
Facing off in intellectual property case HD 200113654-01 before the Hertogenbosch court in the Netherlands was BetSoft's Cyprus-based parent Digitus Limited and Bubble Group NV, parent group for Sheriff Gaming.
Having lost an earlier case in a lower court, Digitus brought the appeal action against Bubble, claiming its IP rights had been infringed. However Judges J.M. Brandenburg, P.M. Huijbers-Koopman and M.A. Wabeke found for Bubble Group, opining that there was no question of copyright protection on the so-called "zoom effect" as there does not appear to be evidence of original creative ownership.
A statement from Sheriff Gaming Tuesday claimed that the latest clash was on an appeal by BetSoft after it lost its original claim in the Dutch Court of First Instance earlier this year.
In that case, BetSoft had taken the dangerous step of approaching several of Bubble Group’s clients directly, informing them that Bubble Group was infringing Betsofts’ IP rights and encouraging clients to cease business with Bubble Group.
After analysing and comparing source codes, the Court of Appeal concluded that there was no evidence to support BetSoft’s claims, and BetSoft was unable to provide any additional evidence to the court to validate its accusations.
The judgement included a recommendation that BetSoft immediately refrain from any further claims to third parties that the use of the zoom / Expandicon effect in games in Holland infringes BetSoft rights.
The Court of Appeal explicitly found that BetSoft presented a report in court while it knew the basis/data on which that report was based had been manipulated, and therefore the Court found that BetSoft was never in a position to claim infringement, or even have a reasonable suspicion that its IP-rights had been infringed by Bubble Group.
Stijn Flapper, CEO of Bubble Group/Sheriff Gaming, commented: “We couldn’t be happier by this latest ruling and we hope that we can now move forward whilst proving irrevocable proof to our clients and the rest of the industry that we are a true innovator of 3D games."
BetSoft was ordered to pay the costs of the proceedings, on the part of Bubble estimated at Euro 666, and Euro 16,000 in legal disbursements.