Riot Games and Moonton Reach Global Settlement in Copyright Infringement Saga

lol vs mibb riot games

After seven years of legal battle, a copyright dispute between two gaming giants: Riot Games and Moonton finally over as both parties reached a settlement.

The dispute was centered around Moonton’s mobile games, such as Mobile Legends (MLBB), which bore striking resemblances to Riot Games’ iconic title, League of Legends (LOL).

Riot Games alleged that Moonton’s games MLBB released in 2016 were blatant clones of LOL, infringing on their intellectual property rights.

The Initial Lawsuits and Accusation

In 2017, Riot Games fired the opening salvo by filing a lawsuit against Moonton, accusing them of “willful and bad faith infringement” of their intellectual property – League of Legends.

The lawsuit targeted three of Moonton’s titles:

  • Magic Rush: Heroes 
  • Legends: 5v5 MOBA
  • Mobile Legends: Bang Bang

However, the case hit a snag when the US court ruled that the dispute would be “better heard” in China, considering that both Riot Games (a subsidiary of Tencent) and Moonton (part of ByteDance) are Chinese companies.

Note – California based company Riot Games was acquired by Chinese company Tencent in 2015.

However, in 2018, Tencent Holdings, Riot’s parent company, scored a victory in a separate lawsuit against Moonton’s co-founder, Xu Zhenhua.

The non-disclosure and non-compete lawsuit resulted in a $2.9 million judgment against Xu, although it did not directly target Moonton Games as a whole.

Riot Games Files Another Lawsuit

In May 2022, Riot Games launched another offensive, filing a lawsuit in the Central District of California.

This time, they alleged that Moonton had continued to copy content and even promotional material from League of Legends and its spin-off Wild Rift, in MLBB.

However, the US court once again dismissed the case, suggesting that it should be resolved in a different jurisdiction (in China).

A Surprise Settlement: The Battle Comes to an End

After years of legal wrangling and jurisdictional disputes, both sides recently reached a surprise settlement, officially putting an end to the lawsuits.

While the details of the settlement remain undisclosed, Riot Games’ withdrawal of the lawsuits indicates a mutual agreement between the two entities (for now).

Source: Yahoo

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