Chinese game company Snail Games announced today that it's taking Chinese game developer Skymoons and publisher iQIYI to court over their mobile game The Journey Of Flower, which Snail believes infringes on copyrighted material in Snail Games' Taichi Panda game (pictured above).
What makes this case especially intriguing, as noticed by GamesBeat, is that Snail Games is already embroiled in a lawsuit with Blizzard Entertainment over character designs in Taichi Panda, which Blizzard believes infringes on copyrighted material in World of Warcraft.
If this sounds familiar, it's because we reported an incredibly similar situation back in March, when Blizzard sued a studio that was suing a studio over copyright infringement. Back then it was Blizzard suing Chinese company Lilith Games for violations of copyright and trademark laws, even as Lilith was simultaneously suing U.S. studio uCool and claiming that uCool's Heroes Charge infringed on Lilith's Soul Clash mobile game, known in Taiwan as "DOTA Legend."
In light of today's news, Gamasutra has reached out to Blizzard for further comment on the state of that legal imbroglio. The case inspired legal expert Zachary Strebeck to address the greater problem of game cloning and to posit that modern mobile marketplaces encourage a lax attitude towards copyright and other intellectual property rights.
Snail Games took pains to send out a handful of The Journey of Flower/Taichi Panda comparison shots highlighting particularly infringing design elements, and we've included one below for your convenience.