26 October 2018Copyright

Place your bets: William Hill sues competitor for copyright infringement

Bookmaker William Hill has accused a competitor of copying parts of its ‘How to Bet Guide’.

The company filed its copyright complaint at the US District Court for the District of New Jersey on Tuesday, October 23.

In June, William Hill published a ‘How to Bet Guide’ to assist those seeking to learn about sports betting establishments. The guide is distributed at the company’s locations, including those in New Jersey, and was registered with the US Copyright Office in August (TX0008591168).

Shortly after the guide was published, FanDuel, a sports provider and rival bookmaker, set up its own establishment at The Meadowlands racetrack in New Jersey, and William Hill discovered that FanDuel was distributing a pamphlet called ‘How to Bet Betting Guide’ at this location.

However, FanDuel’s guide is allegedly a “blatant infringement” of William Hill’s.

“A simple side-by-side comparison of William Hill copyrighted work against the infringing pamphlet clearly demonstrates how egregious FanDuel has been in its unauthorised copying,” the complaint said.

William Hill explained that certain parts of FanDuel’s pamphlet, such as the section related to baseball, had been “identically” copied from its own guide.

“FanDuel’s unauthorised copying is perhaps most evident in the fact that FanDuel actually forgot to remove William Hill’s name when printing the infringing pamphlet,” the complaint added.

The pamphlet allegedly reads: “Alternative and reverse run lines are propositional wagers offered by William Hill on each baseball game.”

In addition to the pamphlets, FanDuel also used the content from William Hill’s guide on “several” web pages, according to William Hill.

William Hill has asked the court to award damages and injunctive relief for wilful copyright infringement, including an account of profits derived by FanDuel as a result of the infringement.

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