4 January 2018Copyright

Epic Games wins infringement case against YouTube advertiser

Epic Games has won an IP infringement case against Russia-based individual Artem Yakovenko.

The company alleged that Yakovenko developed, advertised, used and distributed a software cheat for its multi-player survival video game, “Fortnite”.

According to the initial claim (pdf), filed in October 2017, the distribution of the cheat exploited “Fortnite” and infringed Epic’s copyright and trademarks. As a result, the company sought injunctive relief and damages.

Yakovenko was accused of creating a software cheat for “Fortnite’s” Battle Royale game mode and developing videos on YouTube to advertise his cheat. The videos featured the ‘Fortnite’ trademark, which was not authorised by Epic. YouTube was not sued by Epic.

After Epic submitted a takedown notice to YouTube for the first video, it was withdrawn. Following this, Yakovenko submitted a counter notification, before publishing several additional videos on YouTube.

Once again, the video-sharing platform took down the videos upon Epic’s notice.

Under Epic’s terms of service, it states that users “must not reproduce, sell, or exploit for any commercial purposes any part of the services, access to the services or use of the services or any services or materials available through the services”.

Based on the parties' stipulation, the US District Court for the Northern District of California ruled (pdf) on Tuesday, January 2 in favour of Epic on the issues of copyright infringement, trademark infringement, false designation of origin, breach of contract, and California unfair competition.

The judgment said that although Yakovenko’s cheat did not appear to be a functional “Fortnite” cheat, “it functions as a bitcoin miner that infects the user’s computer with a virus that causes the user’s computer to mine bitcoin for the benefit of an unknown third party”.

The court ruled that Yakovenko, and all those who worked in conjunction with him, are permanently enjoined and restrained from imitating, copying or making any other infringements, or distributing “Fortnite” or any other work protected by copyright and owned by Epic.

Yakovenko and his affiliates were also banned from creating anything that would infringe Epic’s works and partaking in any activity that would constitute an infringement of Epic’s copyright.

They were also ordered not to unfairly compete with Epic in any way or to cheat in any game developed or published by Epic or its corporate affiliates.

Epic was founded in 1991 and has its corporate headquarters in Cary, North Carolina.

Did you enjoy reading this story?  Sign up to our free daily newsletters and get stories like this sent straight to your inbox.

Today’s top stories

Uber name battle comes to an end

Kardashian sisters continue to mull TM opposition

Spanx hit with Sleevey Wonders IP claims

Cole Schotz bulks up IP department

Fitzpatrick welcomes two new partners

Complete our  Reader Survey and tell us what you think about WIPR for a chance win a corporate subscription worth £2450.

Already registered?

Login to your account

To request a FREE 2-week trial subscription, please signup.
NOTE - this can take up to 48hrs to be approved.

Two Weeks Free Trial

For multi-user price options, or to check if your company has an existing subscription that we can add you to for FREE, please email Adrian Tapping at

More on this story

18 May 2021   Epic Games has hit China-based augmented reality creator, Nreal with a lawsuit accusing it of infringing trademarks for branded software used to create 3D and immersive digital content.
22 June 2021   The US Supreme Court has refused to hear arguments against Fortnite developer Epic Games and Microsoft for allegedly copying the likeness of a professional wrestler in the video game series ‘Gears of War’.
23 September 2021   A recently unsealed indictment has accused a prominent YouTuber and two associates of operating a $34 million cable TV piracy scheme.