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World Wrestling Entertainment Files Suit Against Acclaim

Newsday reported today that Acclaim has been served with a lawsuit by World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., over alleged copyright infringements and breach of contract.
The suit, filed last week in U.S. District Court in Central Islip, New York, claims that Acclaim breached its license with WWE by continuing to sell games based on the WWE brand, despite the fact that a broad licensing agreement between the two companies expired in 1999, and Acclaim has a much more restricted license now. WWE's suit states that since 1999, Acclaim has "distributed WWE copyrighted games significantly in excess of the terms" of its distribution agreements. WWE claims that it is owed "tens of millions of dollars" in licensing revenue, based on these unauthorized sales. WWE is seeking a permanent injunction blocking Acclaim's alleged unauthorized distribution of the games Attitude, Warzone, In Your House and Wrestlemania, and use of certain WWF trademarks, plus usage fees and monetary damages. Acclaim representatives say they haven't seen the suit yet, and seemed a little perplexed about its arguments. Edward Slezak, Acclaim's VP and corporate counsel, said that since Acclaim hasn't published any WWE-based games since 1999, he assumes that WWE is upset over the fact that some retailers and distributors are still selling older inventory -- for which Acclaim says it gets no revenue.

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