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Winzo files a lawsuit against MPL over alleged copyright infringement

WinZo claims that MPL has copied the format of its game format 'World War' with an identical name.

June 04, 2022 / 02:18 PM IST
Representative image.

Representative image.

Vernacular gaming platform WinZo has filed a lawsuit in Delhi High Court against rival Mobile Premier League (MPL) over alleged copyright infringement related to a game format called 'World War'.

WinZo, which counts Griffin Gaming Partners and Makers Fund among its investors, claims that MPL has copied the format of a proprietary team-based game format 'World War' with an identical name in the last week of March 2022.

The firm claims that it has applied for a patent for the invention, copyright registration in relation to the expression of the format, and trademark for 'World War'. MPL declined to comment on this matter to Moneycontrol.

In a statement, WinZo says when it brought the matter to MPL's notice, the company took down the game format from their platform on March 28, 2022, however it brought back the format with a different name called "Team Clash" on April 2, although notifications / pop-ups sent to users still used ‘World War’.

It claims that MPL refused to comply with WinZo's cease and desist notice from taking down the format, following which WinZo filed a lawsuit  seeking injunction to restrain MPL from continuing to use the format on the grounds of copyright infringement, passing off and unfair competition.

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The matter was heard in the Delhi High Court on June 3 and WinZo notes in the press statement that MPL's counsel has agreed to stop using the trademark 'World War' and was also willing to give an undertaking they will not use the trademark in their offering.

The counsel also made a statement that MPL shall attempt to resolve the matter through negotiations with WinZo, the company said. The next hearing in this matter is slated for July 4, 2022.

Started in 2018 by Sai Srinivas and Shubh Malhotra, MPL offers over 70 games across categories such as daily fantasy sports, quizzing, board games, esports, and casual games on its Android and iOS apps.

It claims to have over 90 million users across India, Europe, and the United States. The company says it has tie-ups with multiple gaming studios and developer partners that publish games on its platform. Last week, MPL announced plans to exit the Indonesia market and lay off 100 employees.

The startup was last valued at $2.3 billion after raising a reported $150 million in September last year, which also marked its entry into the unicorn club.

Meanwhile, four-year-old WinZo claims to have a portfolio of over 100 games, available in 12 languages such as English, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, and Bhojpuri, with over 75 million registered users. It partners with third party developers to host games on their Android and iOS apps.
Vikas SN
first published: Jun 4, 2022 02:11 pm
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