PALO ALTO, Calif., Dec. 15 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network — Cooley Godward LLP clients NCsoft Corporation and NC Interactive, Inc., along with Cryptic Studios, Inc.,
reached an amicable settlement yesterday with Marvel Entertainment, Inc. and
Marvel Enterprises, Inc. of a closely-watched copyright and trademark case
Marvel brought over the highly popular multiplayer online game City of
Heroes(R). The settlement resolves all claims brought by Marvel and all
claims brought by NCsoft, NC Interactive, Inc. and Cryptic Studios, Inc. Led
by partners John Crittenden, based in San Francisco, and Peter Willsey, based
in Washington, DC, Cooley represented NCsoft and City of Heroes publisher NC
Interactive throughout the litigation in federal court in Los Angeles and its
“City of Heroes, and its sequel, City of Villains, are terrific games that
allow players to create their own original comic book-type heroes and interact
with others online in virtual fantasy worlds. This settlement ensures that
our clients’ players can continue to express themselves creatively — which is
the fundamental purpose of copyright law,” said Crittenden.
The parties’ settlement allows them all to continue to develop and sell
exciting and innovative products, but does not reduce the players’ ability to
express their creativity in making and playing original and exciting
characters. Therefore, no changes to City of Heroes(R) or City of
Villains(TM) character creation engine are part of the settlement.
The parties have agreed that protecting intellectual property rights is
critically important and each will continue aggressively to protect such
rights in accordance with all applicable laws. While the terms of the
settlement were not disclosed, all parties agreed that this case was never
about monetary issues and that the fans of their respective products and
characters are the winners in this settlement.
The rest of the Cooley team included partner Anita Stork and associates
Adam Barea, Kathleen (“Kat”) Treiber, and Alex Sears.
About Cooley Godward
Cooley Godward is an established provider of strategic litigation and
business transaction services and a recognized leader in the representation of
high-growth private and public companies, financial institutions, venture
capital firms and nonprofit organizations. Its singular focus on providing
the highest quality legal services has enabled its clients to achieve their
strategic business objectives and gained for Cooley recognition as one of the
country’s leading law firms.
Cooley was recently named to The American Lawyer magazine’s 2005 “A List,”
the publication’s annual ranking of “the best of the best” among the nation’s
top law firms. For additional information please visit http://www.cooley.com.
NCsoft – North American is headquartered in Austin, Texas and is part of
Korea-based NCsoft Corporation. NCsoft, with its own development and
publishing offices in Texas and California, also works with subsidiaries and
third party developers throughout North America to develop and publish
innovative online entertainment software products. The company launched two
massively multiplayer titles on the same day last year: Lineage II and City
of Heroes(R), and in 2005 the hit games Guild Wars(R) and City of Villains(TM)
were released. In 2006, NCsoft is poised to launch two more massively
multiplayer titles: Auto Assault(R) and Tabula Rasa(TM). More information
about NCsoft can be found at http://www.PlayNC.com .
NOTE: NCsoft, the interlocking NC logo, Lineage, Guild Wars, Auto Assault,
Tabula Rasa and all associated logos and designs are trademarks or registered
trademarks of NCsoft Corporation. City of Heroes and City of Villains are
trademarks or registered trademarks of Cryptic Studios, Inc. and NC
Interactive. Cryptic Studios is a trademark of Cryptic Studios, Inc. All other
trademarks are the property of their respective owners.