Atari lawyers gunning for iPhone Breakout clones

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Yeargh! Atari’s scabrous legal buzzards be circling o’er the App Store seas this day; plunderin’ the iPhone waters for the carcus a’ yer favourite Breakout clones, ready t’ keel haul the mutinous brigands who done tresspassed in its sacred cove!

According to a post on TouchArcade’s forums, the gaming giant has turned it’s legal eye toward Breakout and Pong clones on the iPhone’s App Store; asking, in a most officious capacity, for developers to remove their games. The post was made by the developer of BreakClassic and BreakTouch 3D, Bootant, followed closely by Spiffyware, who’s been asked to remove Super Pong 2.

While there’s little doubt that Atari could indeed ask for the removal of Breakout clones, due to clear ownership, descending on Pong clones would presumably be a different matter. Atari itself was the subject of the first ever gaming law suit in which Sanders Associates and Magnavox successfully sued Atari for copying its ’electronic bat and ball’ game , which became Pong. Atari became a licensee of the concept, but not the owner.

This is supported by another legal brush when Gyrocade renamed its iPhone game 3D Vector Pont to 3D Vector ball after Atari made contact. Indeed the long-lived games developer owns the rights to the name Pong, but the concept doesn’t appear theirs to claim ownership to. Breakout, on the other hand, has provided the App Store with a significant number of clones, which Atari could quite easily claim copyright infringements for. A tad heavy handed, and not what a gamer wants to hear, but it’s not that difficult to appreciate Atari’s point of view in terms of Breakout cloning - but don’t wait too long to buy that Breakout-style game you’ve been eyeing up on the App Store.

Yargh! Tan the lawyer’s oily hide and send ’em down to see Old Hob, says we!


In : PC

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