Fraud and Breach Complaint Filed Against Atari Over Dungeons & Dragons License
Atari's legal trouble with Dungeons and Dragons continues. You might recall Turbine filed suit against Atari back in August alleging Atari failed to meet its obligations for Dungeons and Dragons Online, but this week Atari finds itself embroiled in more legal trouble as Hasbro, owners of the Dungeons and Dragons IP and subsidiary Wizards of the Coast have filed a complaint in the District Court of Rhode Island against Infogrames Entertainment S.A., a.k.a Atari, S.A., alleging that Atari may have entered into an unauthorized sub-licensing of the digital game rights to the Dungeons and Dragons franchise with competitor Namco Bandai. At issue is an agreement between Atari and Hasbro that restricts the licensing of Dungeons and Dragons with a direct competitor competitor, in this case Namco Bandai.
The suit alleges that Atari may have committed five different breaches of their licensing agreement. Hasbro is seeking financial compensation for losses suffered as a result and they also seek to terminate the licensing agreement with Atari, who currently publishes Dungeons and Dragons Online with developer Turbine.
Wizards of the Coast posted a press release explaining the action.
December 16, 2009 (Pawtucket, RI) - Hasbro, Inc. today filed a complaint in the District Court of Rhode Island against Infogrames Entertainment S.A, a.k.a Atari, S.A., alleging fraud and five different breaches of their licensing agreement for the Dungeons & Dragons brand.
Dungeons & Dragons is owned by HasbroÂs wholly-owned subsidiary Wizards of the Coast, who discovered earlier this year that Atari may have entered into an unauthorized sublicensing relationship with Namco Bandai Partners (NBP) for the Dungeons & Dragons digital game rights. NBP is a competitor for both Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro, and such an agreement is prohibited under the contract between Hasbro and Atari.
ÂWhile unfortunate that we had to take this action, it is crucial for us to protect the Dungeons & Dragons brand,Â said Greg Leeds, President of Wizards of the Coast. ÂWe have been working for several months now to reach resolution with Atari, and they have left us with no other choice than to pursue legal action.Â
Hasbro is seeking compensatory damages for economic losses suffered as well as a termination of the licensing agreement.
Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS) is a worldwide leader in childrenÂs and family leisure time products and services with a rich portfolio of brands and entertainment properties that provides some of the highest quality and most recognizable play and recreational experiences in the world. As a brand-driven, consumer-focused global company, Hasbro brings to market a range of toys, games and licensed products, from traditional to high-tech and digital, under such powerful brand names as TRANSFORMERS, PLAYSKOOL, TONKA, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, CRANIUM and WIZARDS OF THE COAST. Come see how we inspire play through our brands at www.hasbro.com. (C) 2009 Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.