Hasbro, maker of all things My Little Pony-related (and many other well-known toys), is no the stranger to intellectual property disputes or to the American judicial system. Earlier this year, the company got into a spat with a toy designer over copyright claims and then just last month was named in a lawsuit by Turkey-based Peak Games for allegedly infringing one of its popular mobile phone apps.
Frequent IPWatchdog contributor Steve Brachman explains the dispute in an article entitled “Hasbro faces copyright infringement claim over My Little Pony gaming app,”
American toy and board game developer Hasbro Inc. (NASDAQ:HB) , owners of the My Little Pony franchise and many other recognizable properties, has been making a push to get into the rapidly growing and lucrative mobile gaming market. In 2013, Hasbro invested $112 million into mobile game developer Backflip Studios. This August, news reports indicated that Hasbro was working with a San Francisco-based mobile game developer to create a massively multiplayer game based on Hasbro’s Transformers entertainment property, which will be released sometime in 2017.
Unfortunately for Hasbro, not all of its activities in the mobile gaming business have been completely original, leaving the game developer open to legal challenges. In late October, it was reported that Hasbro was named as a defendant in a copyright infringement action filed by Turkey-based gaming developer Peak Games in the San Francisco courthouse of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (N.D. Cal.).
At the center of Peak Games’ complaint is Hasbro’s My Little Pony: Puzzle Party mobile game app, which Peak Games alleges is essentially a clone of that firm’s Toy Blast game. According to screenshots culled from the complaint by VentureBeat, both games provide players with a cross-like game board composed of blocks of various colors. The complaint alleges that Hasbro’s copying of Toy Blast is thorough, right to a step-by-step reprinting of the game’s tutorial.
Peak Games has good reason to protect its intellectual property related to Toy Blast as the game has enjoyed a good deal of popularity among mobile device users. As of November 8th, Toy Blast was ranked fifth among free gaming apps available on the Google Play store. Overall, games developed by Peak Games have been downloaded 275 million times and the company enjoys 29 million monthly active users according to VentureBeat.
For the rest of the story, check out Pony Litigation