The big name publisher has been ordered to pay out over $11 million in unpaid royalties plus interest.
After three days of deliberations, a jury in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California ruled in favor of Robin Antonick, the original designer and developer of Electronic Arts' best-selling Madden NFL Football games, awarding him over $11 million in unpaid royalties plus interest and setting the stage for another phase of the trial regarding games published after 1996.
The jury found that several Madden games published between 1990-1996, were virtually identical to Antonick's original version of John Madden Football, and used substantially similar plays and formations. The next phase of the trial will be held to determine whether EA is responsible for paying Antonick for games published between 1997 and the present, where revenues exceed $3 billion.
"This is a tremendous victory," said Rob Carey, partner at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP and one of Antonick's attorneys. "In many ways, this trial was a test of each party's version of events. The jury uniformly rejected the idea that this game was developed without Robin's work. It is, if nothing, a good omen for the next phase of the litigation."
The lawsuit first popped up several years ago, when Antonick claimed hasn't been paid in decades even though current iterations of Madden still use his code. He originally sued the company for over $4 billion in damages, as the development deal he signed with EA back in 1986 entitled him to royalties from all derivative works of his code.
Source: Hagens Berman