Antonick v. Electronic Arts
The Paynter Law Firm represents Robin Antonick, the programmer behind the hugely successful Madden NFL videogame, in litigation against videogame publisher Electronic Arts.
Antonick developed the original John Madden Football game under a 1986 software development agreement with EA, which promised him royalties on the game that he developed, as well as any games derived from that original game.
The lawsuit, filed in March 2011 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, claimed that after Antonick stopped developing games for EA, the company went on to use his original source code to develop later versions of Madden Football, without paying him the royalties due under the 1986 agreement.
After multiple failed attempts by EA to get the Court to dismiss Antonick’s claims, the case went to trial in June 2013, where a jury found against EA, rejecting the company’s claim that it had not used Antonick’s work to develop later games. The jury found that the plays of the later games were “substantially similar” to those of Antonick’s original game, and that on the whole the games were “virtually identical.”
The verdict will require EA to shell out millions to Antonick in past-due royalties, as well as accumulated interest on those royalties.
The Paynter Law Firm is co-counsel in the action with the law firm of Hagens, Berman Sobol & Shapiro LLP.