Cases & Deals

Activision Publishing pursues suit to protect Guitar Hero copyright

Client(s) Activision Publishing, Inc.

Jones Day represented Activision Publishing, Inc. in a suit filed against several former employees, a former consultant, and a competitor of the company. Defendants engaged in a secret plan to set up a competing business to Activision's phenomenally successful Guitar Hero® video game. Defendants planned to usurp a confidential and trade secret corporate opportunity and based their business plans and pitches to venture capitalists on information misappropriated from Activision and on a game "demo" funded by Activision and incorporating Activision copyrighted material. As alleged in the complaint, Defendants' misconduct constituted violations of the Lanham Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, as well as constituting, among other California statutory and common law violations, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and interference with prospective economic advantage.

When Activision first learned of the conspiracy, we worked with computer forensic specialists to locate emails, PowerPoint™ presentations and other evidence of the conspiracy from the former employees' work stations. We used this evidence to obtain broad temporary restraining orders, evidence preservation orders, and orders for expedited discovery against all defendants, effectively halting the Defendants' plan to usurp Activision's future business opportunities for its Guitar Hero® franchise. Consent judgments and permanent injunctions have been entered as to the former employees, and broad preliminary injunctions have been entered as to the remaining defendants. Litigation is ongoing.

Activision Publishing, Inc. v. Tam, et al., Case No. CV-07-00464 PA (Ex) (C.D. Cal.)