Attorney Jack C. Schecter, Partner at law firm Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers LLP, passed along word that 6Waves has decided to settle its lawsuit with Spry Fox. You may remember that earlier in the year Spry Fox filed a lawsuit against the iOS developer claiming that Lolapps (a development studio the company acquired) had violated its copyright when it created a clone of its popular iOS title Triple Town. The game at the center of the controversy was Yeti Town, which shared some striking similarities to Spry Fox's game.
Well it looks like the fight is officially over and will be settled out of court. According to a docket entry filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington (Seattle) yesterday, the court was notified that a settlement has been reached. Details of the settlement were not detailed. The docket entry is below:
The Court has been notified that the parties have reached a settlement in this matter. If the parties have not submitted a stipulation and proposed order of dismissal or a voluntary dismissal by 10/26/2012, the Court may enter its standard order of dismissal. Should additional time be needed to perfect settlement, the parties are directed to contact the in-court deputy. (VE) (Entered: 10/10/2012)
We asked Mr. Schecter to weigh in on why 6Waves decided not to fight the lawsuit. Here's his analysis on that:
"As far as why they settled, the court’s ruling on 6Waves’ motion to dismiss was certainly a big factor," Schecter tells GP in an email. "Motions to dismiss come in all shapes and sizes. In many instances, defendants are taking a flyer, hoping on an early exit from the case but also figuring that even if they lose the motion to dismiss, they're setting the stage for the rest of the case and getting a chance to get their narrative in front of the court early on. This was not that type of motion to dismiss. Rather, this was 6Waves taking its best shot with the core legal principle behind its defense – the notion that aside from the artwork used in Triple Town, copyright does not provide Spry Fox with much protection against a clone like Yeti Town. When the court squarely rejected that argument, 6Waves didn’t have a whole lot to fall back on."
"Besides, from what was alleged in the complaint, 6Waves was dealing with some bad facts," he continued. "Setting aside the legal merits of Spry Fox’s copyright claims, it seems like 6Waves was engaged in some sharp dealing, agreeing to develop an iOS port of Triple Town for Spry Fox while simultaneously developing its own Yeti Town clone and then beating Spry Fox to the punch in launching that clone in the App Store. Given that set of facts, I’m not at all surprised that 6Waves settled the case after its motion to dismiss was denied and it started to look much more likely that Spry Fox would be allowed to tell its story to a jury."
Finally we asked Mr. Schecter what he thought might be the key points of a settlement between the two companies, besides monetary damages:
"The parties will likely agree that the terms of their settlement must remain confidential, so we may never know exactly what this cost 6Waves," he said. "That said, it will be interesting to see if Yeti Town remains available for download in the coming weeks. If I were Spry Fox, I doubt I would be willing to settle the case baring an agreement from 6Waves to stop selling Yeti Town."
While it looks like the matter will be settled behind closed doors, we hope at some point that we can learn more about the details of the settlement. Stay tuned.