Tracker: Gaming and Fake News

Tracker: Gaming and Fake News

Hi ZipLawyer! I'm Ludo Lugnani and this is ZipLaw. This is one of our subscriber-only newsletters called ZipLaw Tracker where we cover court cases and deals which law firms have been advising on to help you stand out in applications and interviews!

Today's newsletter is a ~5 min read:

  • ⚖️ In Court: Court cases featuring Kirkland & Ellis, Lewis Silkin, Taylor Wessing, Wiggin and Gowling.
  • 🤝 Deals Time: DLA Piper, Skadden, Latham & Watkins, Travers Smith, Clifford Chance and Linklaters.

⚖️ In Court

First Person Copy?

In Short: Riot Games has accused Chinese tech company NetEase of infringing its copyrights in the UK by offering a first-person shooter game that copies Riot's popular multiplayer game Valorant.

What happened?

  • Riot claims that NetEase's free-to-play mobile game Hyper Front copies Valorant's core gameplay, user interface design and core game modes.
  • Both Valorant and Hyper Front are free-to-play first-person shooter games that put players into opposing teams of five.
  • However, Riot claims that NetEase's game also copied parts of its character designs, game maps and weapon designs, according to the claim. Riot also pointed to similarities between the in-depth statistics of the weapons, such as the fire rate and damage output of guns in the game.
  • Riot Games asked the court for an injunction to stop NetEase from continuing to infringe its copyright and a judgement that NetEase has infringed Riot's copyright.

Who is advising?

  • Riot Games is represented by Michael Hicks of Hogarth Chambers, instructed by Wiggin.
  • NetEase is represented by Lewis Silkin.

⚖️ In Court

False Info

In Short: The European Court of Justice said that Google must agree to remove links to web pages that display false information, but only after verifying that it is indeed wrong.

What happened?

  • The ruling was handed down after a German court asked for guidance on a case involving two individuals that asked Google to remove links to articles.
  • The EU's highest court said that it is crucial that the fundamental rights at stake in the situation are considered, which requires balancing personal data protection and privacy rights with freedom of expression and information.
  • If the individual is a public figure, freedom of information generally takes precedence but that balance is reversed if the information at issue is not true.
  • Search engines must therefore take down the links containing false information, the ruling says. However, they should do so only after considering the evidence the person making the request has offered.

Who is advising?

  • Taylor Wessing is advising Google.

⚖️ In Court

Patent Invalidation

In Short: Lenovo asked an appeals court Wednesday to find an InterDigital patent for technology used in 4G is invalid.

What happened?

  • Lenovo claims that the patent failed to state any advantage over prior art and was therefore obvious rather than inventive.
  • The patent involves reducing a message to a 1-bit size and transmitting it using an "on-off key," and Lenovo claims it was obvious based on previous documents such as a technical document submitted by Samsung in 2005.
  • Lenovo is appealing a June 2021 High Court ruling that the patent in question was valid and essential, and it had infringed it.
  • However, Judge Colin Birss, leading the three-judge panel, disputed the assertion that the on-off key would have been "at the forefront" of a skilled person's mind.
  • This appeal is the latest development in a long-running battle between the two technology companies over standard-essential patents used in cellular phones. InterDigital and Lenovo have been in talks since 2009 to license InterDigital's patent portfolio covering 3G and 4G standards, with no success.
  • In January, Lenovo got a win after the Court invalidated a patent held by InterDigital in the second of five trials. Lenovo then to pay its rival a lump sum of $80 million to end the ongoing dispute over fair and reasonable licensing terms for mobile phone patents.

Who is advising?

  • Delaney of Three New Square, instructed by Gowling WLG.
  • Lenovo is represented by Thomas Hinchliffe KC and Jeremy Heald of Three New Square, instructed by Kirkland & Ellis.

🤝 Deals Time

Power Deal

In Short: Mobile power provider Aggreko will buy a specialist industrial equipment supplier for £122 million.

Key Facts

  • The offer represents an approximately 13% premium on Crestchic's 356 pence closing price on Thursday, when the deal was first proposed.
  • Aggreko went private in August 2021 following a takeover by private equity firms I Squared Capital and TDR Capital.
  • The proposal requires the support of at least 75% of shareholders at the company's next general meeting scheduled for 6 February 2023.

Who is advising?

  • DLA Piper is advising Aggreko.
  • Travers Smith is advising Crestchic.

🤝 Deals Time

Insurance Offloading

In Short: The Co-operative Bank has offloaded £1.2 billion of its pension scheme liabilities to insurer Rothesay Life.

Key Facts

  • Under a buy-in transaction, the insurer effectively takes on the risk of changes in the cost of providing benefits, either because members of the pension plan are living longer than expected or because of changes in interest rates or inflation.
  • The deal is one of the biggest of the year and comes as experts are predicting record deal volumes for 2023.
  • The retirement deal market in the UK has grown in the past 15 years. Some £330 billion in pensions liabilities has been insured in that time, consultancy Hymans Robertson said in June. More than half of that has been offloaded in the last four years, and the total value of deals could hit £1 trillion in the next decade.

Who is advising?

  • Linklaters advised the trustee
  • Gowling WLG advised Rothesay
  • Clifford Chance advised the Co-operative Bank.

🤝 Deals Time

Cloud Travel

In Short: American software company Trimble agreed to buy Transporeon, a German logistics firm, in an all-cash deal worth €1.88 billion, as the company aims to scale up its business.

Key Facts

  • Trimble said that buying cloud-based transportation software specialist Transporeon will help it expand into the transport tech market — particularly in Europe.
  • Transporeon is being bought from European buyout fund Hg Capital Trust.
  • The company is confident the platform will play an increasingly important role in the modernization of supply chains globally. We touched on the race for cloud-based solutions in one of our recent newsletters here.
  • Hg has been kept busy with sales this year (particularly in the health care sector). It sold health-software company Medifox to ResMed, a medical device company; and health care workforce deployment software business Allocate Software to RL Datix.

Who is advising?

  • Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom is advising Trimble
  • Latham & Watkins is advising Hg.

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