Attack on ‘Angry Birds' Rip-Offs Hits Mark; Rovio Scores $2.7 Million

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By Tom Taylor

April 3 — A claim by game maker Rovio Entertainment, Ltd. against accused infringers of its “Angry Bird” copyrights and trademarks ended in a default judgment April 1.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York awarded the company $2.7 million in statutory damages—$1.2 million for copyright infringement and $1.5 million for trademark violations.

The court also granted Rovio's request for injunctive relief against defendants Toy Amazon and Yun Long Kuo, neither of which ever answered or appeared during the litigation.

Although the court steered clear of much discussion regarding the nature of the counterfeit goods sold by the defendants (see Rovio's “Exhibit C” for examples), it did note that Rovio had alleged that its lawyers had purchased temporary tattoos via one of Toy Amazon's “highly interactive websites.”

This allegation, among others, led to the court's exercise of personal jurisdiction over the company, as well as defendant Yun Long Kuo, whom Rovio alleged had been identified as “manager” of Toy Amazon in an e-mail offering infringing products for sale.

However, as often happens in Angry Birds the game, one of the defendants proved difficult to bring down.

Defendant Han When Kuo, who Rovio had alleged was the president and principal of Toy Amazon, and who also never appeared in the litigation, was dismissed from the action due to the court's conclusion that Rovio's allegations about his role at the company alone were not enough for the court to exercise personal jurisdiction.

But Rovio might have one last Angry Bird in its slingshot, as the court gave the company until April 15 to show cause why Han When Kuo's dismissal was inappropriate.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom P. Taylor in Washington at ttaylor@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anandashankar Mazumdar at amazumdar@bna.com

Full text at http://www.bloomberglaw.com/public/document/Rovio_Entertainment_Ltd_v_Allstar_Vending_Inc_et_al_Docket_No_114/3.