Social gaming platform WinZO has filed a lawsuit in Delhi High Court (HC) against gaming unicorn Mobile Premier League (MPL) for allegedly copying its gaming format ‘World War’. The matter came up for hearing on 3 June before a bench presided by Justice Naveen Chawla. The next hearing is on July 4, 2022. WinZO was represented by senior advocate Amit Sibal, while MPL was represented by senior advocate Rajshekhar Rao.
In a statement (reported by Inc42), TMT Law Practice, a law firm representing WinZO, said that WinZO launched ‘World War’ in April 2020 and the game currently has nearly 80 Mn registered users. It has also applied for a patent for the invention, copyright registration about the expression of the format, and trademark for ‘World War’.
The conflict according to reports started in March this year when WinZO discovered that MPL had allegedly copied the format and the name. After MPL was informed about the issue, it took down the format from its platform, the statement said.
“However, in a complete volte-face, MPL re-commenced using the entire identical format with each of the distinctive features in use by WinZO, by 2nd April. This time, while they renamed their tournament as ‘Team Clash’, but the notifications/pop-ups sent to users still used ‘World War’,” a report on Inc42 said quoting law firm TMT Law Practice.
Following this, WinZO sent a legal notice to MPL. However, the latter refused to cease taking down the format, the statement alleged. Therefore, “WinZO was forced to file a suit seeking an injunction to restrain MPL from continuing to use the format on account of copyright infringement, passing off and unfair competition”. As per the order uploaded on the HC website, MPL has stopped the use of the plaintiff’s mark “World War” and undertook not to use the said mark for its own game in future as well.
This year, WinZO in different cases sued Moonshine Technologies (Baazi Games), Google, and MPL before the HC. In 2021, WinZO filed a case against Head Digital (A23) which was followed by a similar case by A23. Baazi Games filed a case against WinZO in 2021 for trademark injunction. The Baazi cases were amicably resolved the last month and both the cases were disposed of.
Mayhem Studios, the gaming studio recently launched by MPL, unveiled its first gaming title last month called “Underworld Gang Wars”. MPL had launched Mayhem Studios last month to develop ‘AAA mobile games’ for domestic and global markets.
Headquartered in Bengaluru, the studio is being helmed by Ojas Vipat as CEO. Vipat as per his Linkedin profile previously worked in MPL’s product team since January 2021 and has also had stints at companies such as Tencent, Junglee Games, and DailyHunt among others.