Bandai Namco its suing retro console maker AtGames for alleged copyright infringement over its use of the Ms. Pac-Man characters.
According to a lawsuit filed at the US District Court for the Northern District of California, Bandai Namco America Inc (BNEA) claims AtGames created a version of Ms. Pac-Man it never had permission to make.
It also alleges that AtGames produced a version of Pac-Man that "substantially deviated" from what it was originally shown when it granted the company permission to use the Pac-Man license.
"AtGames' distribution of two different versions of the Pac-Man product, coupled with the prominent use of BNEA's company name, brands, and other licensed intellectual property with such products and the resulting negative response from consumers and members of the press and media, has caused irreparable harm to BNEA’s reputation and goodwill," reads the filing.
Bandai claims that AtGames repeatedly sought a license to create a version of Ms. Pac-Man, but that the request was "expressly rejected" each time. Yet, despite being knocked back, the company still allegedly pushed ahead and created an unauthorized version of the game, which Bandai believes is designed to confuse "actual and potential customers."
AtGames is also being accused of falsely informing retailers like Walmart and GameStop that it had legitimately secured the Ms. Pac-Man license, despite the fact it was never "legally entitled to use the property in any way, anywhere in the world."
"Not only are AtGames’ false statements likely to damage BNEA's relationship with its current and prospective licensees, retailers and/or distributors, but they are also likely to cause severe harm to BNEA's reputation and goodwill,” continues the complaint.
Bandai is seeing an injunction preventing AtGames from making or selling the Ms. Pac-Man game, and is also demanding damages and profits from the alleged infringement.