A man named John Beiswenger has sued Ubisoft and GameTrailers for stealing the storyline for Assassin's Creed from a novel he wrote called Link. Nintendo might take issue with that title for obvious reasons. All kidding aside, the confusing part of the lawsuit is why he decided to sue GameTrailers. According to the complaint he named the popular website in the lawsuit for offering a number of video game trailers related to the Assassin's Creed series.
Beiswenger, who is also a research engineer that holds over 20 U.S. utility patents (color LCD touch display technology, digital alarm clock electronics, fingerprint scanning technology and surgical instrument sterilization) published his novel Link in 2002. The first Assassin's Creed video game was released in 2007.
In the complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the middle district of Pennsylvania earlier this week, Beiswenger alleged 11 counts of copyright infringement against Ubisoft and GameTrailers, for various video games, books and videos.
The author asserts in his complaint that the plotlines of the various Ubisoft games heavily borrow from his Link novel including a device and a lab which allows the protagonists the ability to relive memories through the eyes of ancestors. The device and lab are similar to the Animus in Assassin's Creed, he claims. The novel also makes references to assassins and assassinations related to the Link device, claims Beiswenger.
Beiswenger wants the court to halt any further infringement of his copyright and is demanding damages of up to $5.25 million.