Man Sues Ubisoft, GameTrailers for Assassin’s Creed

April 18, 2012 -

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.

Source: Gamasutra


Comments

Re: Man Sues Ubisoft, GameTrailers for Assassin’s Creed

I'm getting really tired of people trying to sue for this pathetic bullshit.

The first issue is that is that it takes these people a ridiculously long time to even find out that their patent has been apparently used "unlawfully".

The second issue is that they don't get that nothing is original anymore and that it's highly unlikely Ubisoft came along, read his book and then decided to make Assassin's Creed entirely on that book. As eston said, the premises might be similiar but that hardly constitutes an unlawful taking of ones patent.

If it did then essentially every single designer in the world would have broken the law at least once.

Re: Man Sues Ubisoft, GameTrailers for Assassin’s Creed

If it was word-for-word plagiarism or character/entity names were the same or something like that I think he would have a stronger case, but I don't think you can claim copyright over a premise. It's almost like he's getting his patents and his copyrights mixed up.

Re: Man Sues Ubisoft, GameTrailers for Assassin’s Creed

He obviously hasn't watched Everything is a Remix.

http://www.everythingisaremix.info/watch-the-series/

Re: Man Sues Ubisoft, GameTrailers for Assassin’s Creed

At the very least I would hope that the suit against Gametraliers will get thrown out.  All they did was do preview for upcoming game.  They didn't create any aspect of the game they just reported on it existence.  If they were held liable then every single gaming site and publication would be at risk.

Also can any lawyers explain were the burden proof is in this case.  Does the author need to prove Ubisoft copied him or does Ubisoft need to prove that they didn't.

Re: Man Sues Ubisoft, GameTrailers for Assassin’s Creed

When patent trolling doesn't work, do the next best thing. COPYRIGHT TROLLING!

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Re: Man Sues Ubisoft, GameTrailers for Assassin’s Creed

If he wanted even the slightest bit of credibility to his lawsuit, he shouldn't have bothered suing gametrailers. The ability to relive memories through the eyes of one's ancestor's is hardly a completely new plot device anyways, so I would already have been hesitant to take his claims at face value, but I would have at least considered that maybe Assassin's Creed went beyond simply having a similar premise. But with the gametrailers part of the lawsuit, I'm convinced the guy is just an idiot out for money.

 
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