8 November 2021CopyrightMuireann Bolger

Atari loses copyright battle with Australian ecommerce site

Video game maker Atari has lost its copyright infringement suit with online marketplace, Redbubble, over clothing that featured a logo and art from classic video games.

A jury at the US District Court for the Northern District of California found that Redbubble was not liable for infringement on Thursday, November 4.

New York-based Atari Interactive sued the Australia-based site in 2018.

In its complaint, Atari stated that over the years, it had expanded into a multi-platform, global interactive entertainment company, adapting many of its classic games for online platforms such as Facebook, smartphones, and tablets.

The suit alleged that while Redbubble describes itself on its website as a “global online marketplace powered by artists,” it was actually a global online marketplace powered by a substantial quantity of counterfeit goods.

Redbubble engaged in advertising, marketing, creating, displaying, offering for sale, selling, distributing, and profiting from massive quantities of counterfeit Atari products, according to the suit.

Atari went on to claim that the disputed counterfeit products incorporate exact replicas of the registered ‘Centipede’, ‘Fuji’ and ‘Pong’ trademarks derived from video games on products in the classes for which the marks are registered.

Redbubble countered that it was a “transactional intermediary” that doesn't sell, offer or advertise the goods at issue itself and that it wasn't responsible for the sales carried out by its users.

But on Thursday, a jury found in favour of Redbubble’s argument, dismissing Atari’s claims of copyright and trademark infringement, and trademark counterfeiting.

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