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Epic Games prevails as Silicon Knights appeals engine tech case

The U.S. Court of Appeals upholds the decision of a lower court which orders the Canadian developer to pay Epic $9.2 million.
In a judgment made on January 6, The United States Court of Appeals has upheld the decision of the lower court, which in November 2012 ordered Silicon Knights to pay Epic Games $9.2 million in damages and destroy its games and engine technology. This came after Silicon Knights brought suit against Epic in 2007. To briefly summarize the battle, Silicon Knights asserted that Epic failed to provide the studio a functioning version of its Unreal Engine technology for development of its Microsoft-published Too Human, which was released in 2008. Epic countersued, alleging that Silicon Knights incorporated Epic's technology in its in-house engine. At trial, Silicon Knights arguments all failed; Epic was awarded $4.5 million, which ballooned to $9.2 million after the company was also awarded $4.7 million in legal costs by the court. Silicon Knights' lawyers advanced several arguments in the recent appeal, but none of them made an impact on the Court of Appeals, which dismisses them in no uncertain terms in its judgment. The question of whether Epic will be paid hangs in the air, however, as it is not at all clear that Silicon Knights is a going concern. Layoffs in 2011 and 2012, drastically reduced its staff, which ultimately dwindled to a few by 2013, Polygon reports. Moreover, its founder Denis Dyack moved to a new studio, Precursor Games -- whose only project has already gone on hiatus after repeated failures to fund successfully.

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