Thursday, May 18, 2006

Our first lawsuit threat received!

Usually the business environment in the U.S. is believed to be very good by the europeans. But this is hardly the case. Companies are taxed (taxed with the meaning being burdened) by bureaucracy, government regulations and threats of being sued. The (mis-)use of the legal system to bring down competitors is videly used. Government representatives can choose who they impose the regulations on, and who not to harass.

I even read somewhere that the success of a U.S. business can be measured by the number of lawsuits and court proceedings it has to attend to. That is why I am pleased that we for the first time received a threat of somebody to "initiate formal legal steps" against us.

This threat was made both to our host and ourselves, with different deadlines in order to create pressure on us from two instances at once. However we verified that we were not guilty of copyright infringement since we are not selling anything we copied, and we are not violating their trademark since we are clearly stating that we are not affiliated with the company in question. When we didn't do as they wished, they again gave us a new "deadline" and our host an new slightly shorter one.

Now a year have passed so it seems this was nothing more than a threat. In a way it would be interesting to see what happens if the lawyers in the U.K. try to sue the U.S. business entity, but I prefer them not to do anything more regarding this case.

The Letter and email I received were both the same and had the following content:

Rune Word Entertainment Inc
PO Box 27740
Las Vegas
NV 89126
US

Dear Sirs

www.rpgstash.com (“the Website”)

We act for Jagex Limited. Our client has owned and operated RuneScape, the well-known online multiplayer adventure game, since 2001. There are currently some 4.1 million active registered players of the game in over 15 countries. Our client’s turnover in its last financial year to March 2005 was in excess of £5 million (approximately $9 million).

Our client owns Community Trade Mark E2942761 and UK Trade Mark 2302308 or the word RUNESCAPE in classes 16, 25 and 41. Our client also has common law rights in the name RUNESCAPE deriving from its extensive use outlined above.

It has recently come to our client’s attention that the Website infringes our client’s rights as follows.

The Website is being used for the sale of RuneScape items for the purpose of cheating.

Such transactions are strictly forbidden in our client’s contracts with customers. They constitute a breach of contract by the users concerned as well as a tortious inducement of other users to breach their contracts. Such transactions damage the game’s reputation and cause our client financial loss. Not only do they enable players to advance without spending time playing the game (resulting in loss of revenue) but honest players are discouraged from playing as a result.

The transactions are criminal offences insofar at they incite, counsel, procure or assist persons to gain unauthorised access to our client’s computer systems.

The Website is also being used to confuse, attract and profit from internet users seeking our client This is achieved by metatext use of RUNESCAPE (including in the metatitle / metadescription visible in search engines) and use of our client’s trade mark RUNESCAPE on the Website in a manner which is not in accordance with honest practices in commercial matters. The foregoing constitutes trade mark infringement and passing off.

Our client’s copyright is also infringed by the reproduction of game items and our client’s logo.

Furthermore, you / your company also operate websites at runeword.com, runeword.biz, runeword.us and godlyitems.com. The websites at the first three domain names link to the Website as well as to a website at the domain name godlyitems.com. The website at godlyitems.com undertakes similar infringing activities to those outlined above in relation to the Website.

Please cease all activity outlined above within 7 days from today. Otherwise our client will have little choice but to initiate formal legal steps to protect its position.

Yours faithfully

Adlex Solicitors
www.adlexsolicitors.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 207 317 8404
Fax: +44 (0) 207 317 8405
Mob: +44 (0) 7775 635 835
76A Belsize Lane, London NW3 5BJ

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good effort, fuck Jagex. They're so obsessed with making sure no one makes money of their game that they've ruined it.

How on earth they can possibly claim to have lost money from gold sellers is beyond me. They're a lying, power-hungry, censored company who are so far up their own ass they can't tell what's legal and what's not.

8:38 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home