A lawyer familiar with the case says that 6waves threw in the towel after a court rejected the “core legal principle” of its defense.
Indie game studio Spry Fox sued 6waves back in January, claiming that Yeti Town, an iOS game developed by 6waves studio Lolapps, was a “virtual duplicate” of its Facebook game Triple Town. Spry Fox had previously entered discussions with 6waves about the possibility of making iOS and Android versions of Triple Town, but after granting the company full access to its IP, 6waves cut off negotiations and then released a “clone” of the game.
It was a pretty greasy bit of business, but the dispute has now been settled. 6waves decided not to fight the lawsuit after the court rejected its motion to dismiss; attorney Jack C. Schecter of Sunstein Kann Murphy and Timbers LLP explained that while many such motions are designed to simply “get [the defendant’s] narrative in front of the court early on,” that wasn’t the case in this case.
“This was 6waves taking its best shot with the core legal principle behind its defense – the notion that aside from the artwork used in Triple Town, copyright does not provide Spry Fox with much protection against a clone like Yeti Town,” Schecter told GamePolitics. “When the court squarely rejected that argument, 6waves didn’t have a whole lot to fall back on.”
Schecter also pointed out that agreeing to develop an iOS version of Triple Town for Spry Fox and then releasing a clone of the game instead doesn’t shine a very flattering light on the company. “Given that set of facts, I’m not at all surprised that 6waves settled the case after its motion to dismiss was denied and it started to look much more likely that Spry Fox would be allowed to tell its story to a jury,” he said.
The terms of the settlement are likely to remain confidential, but Schecter said he expects that it will include an agreement that Yeti Town be pulled from the App Store. Either way, this outcome has to be seen as a big win for indie game makers.