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Atari v. North American Philips

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Citation Edit

Atari, Inc. v. North American Philips Consumer Elecs. Corp., 672 F.2d 607 (7th Cir.) (full-text), cert. denied, 459 U.S. 880 (1982).

Appellate Court Proceedings Edit

The Seventh Circuit reversed the lower court's denial of Atari's request for a preliminary injunction against the makers of another videogame featuring a creature called "K. C. Munchkin." The copyright claimed to be infringed was not in the underlying code, but rather an audiovisual copyright in the screen display.

In finding that the plaintiff had met its burden of showing a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits, the Seventh Circuit compared the details of the audiovisual display of the two works, finding that a number of similarities in the PAC-MAN and K.C. Munchkin "gobblers" were the deciding factors in Atari's favor on the question of substantial similarity.[1] While noting that there was not identical copying, the Court found that defendant's game had captured the "total concept and feel" of Atari's game.[2]

References Edit

  1. 672 F.2d at 617-18.
  2. Id. at 620.

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