PUBG Corp. Sues Mobile Dev For Copyright Infringement

The company is seeking $150,000 in damages

PUBG Corp., developer of the smash-success PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG), is suing mobile developer NetEase, alleging it violated copyright laws with two of its games according to Torrent Freak.

In court documents obtained by Torrent Freak, PUBG Corp. accuses two of NetEase's games, Rules of Survival and Knives Out, of copyright infringement, trade dress infringement and unfair business competition. 

In paragraph 50 of the document, PUBG Corp. argues with Rules of Survival, NetEase copied PUBG's gameplay and set up "with the intention" of launching a clone on mobile devices in an effort to confuse consumers.

"On information and belief, Defendants intended to create consumer confusion as to the source of ROS and intended to cause consumers to believe, incorrectly, that ROS had been developed by PUBG. On information and belief, Defendants intended to misappropriate consumer goodwill toward PUBG in order to market and gain economic benefit from ROS," the company says. "... there has in fact been confusion in the marketplace as to the source and origin of ROS, with consumers believing, incorrectly, that ROS was developed by PUBG. For example, ROS has been referred to in the marketplace as 'PUBG on Mobile,' 'Mobile PUBG' and the 'BEST MOBILE PUBG.'"

The court documents go on to provide numerous examples of photographic evidence it feels proves Rules of Survival is a direct copy of PUBG. The company accuses similar Knives Out of similar infringement. 

"Once it became apparent that NetEase was unwilling to acknowledge PUBG’s intellectual property rights, PUBG determined that legal action would be necessary to enforce its rights," the document states in paragraph 115. "On or about February 14, 2018, a representative of PUBG Corporation emailed NetEase Games and Apple sating, 'Since it is very clear that NetEase Games disagrees with PUBG Corporation’s claims, PUBG Corporation has decided to take legal actions against NetEase Games.' On or about February 15, 2018, a representative of NetEase Games responded to PUBG Corporation and Apple, asking Apple 'to withdraw this case until any valid judgements are received.' Thus, after receiving repeated notice, NetEase continued to willfully infringe PUBG’s rights."

If the court finds favor with PUBG Corp.'s lawsuit, the company asks all parties at NetEase working on Rules of Survival and Knives Out to stop working on any content copying PUBG, as well as stopping development  removing all versions of the games for purchase. Lastly, PUBG Corp. is seeking $150,000 USD per infringed work for statutory damages. 

The court hasn't yet reached a verdict.