World of Tanks developer Wargaming.net has filed a lawsuit against Changyou.com and Beijing Gamease Age Digital Technology Co. in the United States Federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The lawsuit alleges that the defendant(s) "stole" Wargaming.net's intillectual property to create an online tank game called "Project Tanks" that is "disturbingly similar" to World of Tanks. Wargaming.net is using the law firm Banner & Witcoff, Ltd. The firm successfully helped the company get a permanent injunction against the proprietors of the website worldoftankshop.com in late March of this year. That site offered in-game gold for World of Tanks and leveling services.
No doubt Wargaming.net is looking for an injunction against the game and will seek damages. For its part, Gamebox says that Wargaming.net's actions against the game are underhanded. On the official site for the game is a message asking for players' help in the fight against Wargaming.net:
"Wargaming.net LLP (developer & publisher of World of Tanks) has recently launched a series of underhand actions against Project Tank, including using their connections to shut down our facebook page (http:/www.facebook.com/projecttankofficial), over PT’s purported “infringement” of their intellectual property rights.
Continuously sabotaged by Wargaming, Project Tank and Gamebox have never intended to pose a threat or compete at any platform with World of Tanks. The graphics used in Project Tank are our efforts to reconstruct WWII battle scenes. We feel truly shocked and bullied by Wargaming, a giant company of the gaming industry who is apparently “threatened” by a closed beta phase browser game aiming to provide a cheaper, fairer, and more accessible war game to players around the world.
As we are dealing with this issue with legal measures to protect this game, the PT closed beta has now come to an end. The open beta server will be open in approximately a month."
We will have more on this story as it develops.