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Sega Sues Level 5, Seeks to Block Inazuma Eleven Game Sales

posted on 2012-12-11 09:50 EST
Demands 900 million yen/US$10.9 million in damages over certain touch controls

Sega, the Tokyo-based game publisher known for Sonic the Hedgehog and other franchises, is suing Level 5 for certain uses of the Nintendo DS system's touchscreen in the Inazuma Eleven soccer role-playing game series.

Sega claims in its lawsuits that Level 5 is using specific methods to move characters with a stylus or finger on the touchscreen — methods for which Sega says it has two patents. Sega is demanding that Level 5 stop production and sales of eight Inazuma Eleven games, as well as pay 900 million yen (about US$10.9 million) in damages. The first round of oral arguments in the suit began on Friday.

Fukuoka-based Level 5 is also known for its Dark Cloud, Professor Layton, and other game franchises. It has sold over three million copies of the eight main Inazuma Eleven games, earning what Sega says is around 900 million yen. Level 5 responded to the situation, saying, "We are preparing to refute the claim, and will withhold any further comment at this time."

The Inazuma Eleven game series began in 2008 on the Nintendo DS, and has since spawned several manga and anime series with multiple movies. The newest installment, Inazuma Eleven Go vs. Danbōru Senki W, opened in Japanese theaters earlier this month. 

The Gigazine and ekouhou.net websites posted one of Sega's patents, which are publicly available for viewing from Japanese government.

Source Yomiuri Online via Hachima Kikō (link 2)


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