Wizards of the Coast has filed suit in federal district court against Cryptozoic Entertainment, LLC and related company Hex Entertainment, LLC. The suit alleges that Hex: Shards of Fate, a MMOTCG currently in Closed Beta testing prior to full launch, infringes copyrights, patents, and trade dress of WotC products Magic: The Gathering, Magic Online, and Magic: The Gathering--Duels of the Planeswalkers. Cryptozoic funded Hex: Shards of Fate with a successful $2.3 million Kickstarter (see "'WOW TCG' Calls It Quits").
Wizards laid out the alleged infringements in the complaint. Cryptozoic "...copied the look and feel, the ornamental aspects, and the pleasing and ornamental layout of the functional features of Magic trading cards," the complaint said. "Cryptozoic Entertainment and Hex Entertainment have, further, implemented those copied playing cards in promulgation of a game that substantially duplicates the mechanics, plot, actions and elements of Magic, often retaining the same name for actions within the game play."
Wizards’ complaint enumerates its copyrights and patents, and then quotes extensively from a blog post titled "Magic Hex Mix" on the Threshold: The Hex Podcast website in which the author lays out what he says are the “similarities between Magic and Hex,” comparing card types and the games’ resource systems and finding much in common between the two games. The complaint also quotes posts from Cryptozoic’s forums that note similarities between the games.
The WotC complaint lists copyright infringement, patent infringement, and Lanham Act "unfair competition, false endorsement, and false designation of origin" as causes of action, and requests damages, fees, and permanent injunctions.
Cryptozoic did not respond to a request for comment in time for this article.
Posted by ICv2 on May 15, 2014 @ 5:07 pm CT