India's Gaming platform WinZo Filed a Lawsuit against MPL, But Why?

WinZo says that MPL has cloned its 'World War' game format and given it a similar title.

WinZo, a Indian gaming platform, has filed a case in the Delhi High Court against competitor Mobile Premier League (MPL) for claimed copyright infringement in the 'World War' game genre.

MPL allegedly stole the format of a proprietary team-based game format called 'World War' with an identical name in the latter week of March 2022, according to WinZo, which counts Griffin Gaming Partners and Makers Fund among its investors.

The company claims to have applied for a patent for the innovation, a copyright registration for the format's expression, and a trademark for the term 'World War.'

In a statement, WinZo says that after bringing the matter to MPL's attention, the company removed the game format from their platform on March 28, 2022; however, on April 2, it reintroduced the format under the name "Team Clash," though notifications and pop-ups sent to users still used the term "World War."

It alleges that MPL failed to take down the format after receiving a cease and desist order from WinZo, prompting WinZo to file a lawsuit seeking an injunction to stop MPL from using the format on the grounds of copyright infringement, passing off, and unfair competition.

MPL's counsel has agreed to stop using the trademark 'World War,' and was also ready to issue an undertaking that they will not use the name in their offering, according to WinZo's news release.

MPL's counsel also stated that the business will try to address the situation through discussions with WinZo, according to the company. The next court date in this case is July 4, 2022.

MPL, founded in 2018 by Sai Srinivas and Shubh Malhotra, offers over 70 games on its Android and iOS applications, including daily fantasy sports, quizzing, board games, esports, and casual games.

The company was previously valued at $2.3 billion, following a $150 million funding round in September of last year, which marked its admission into the unicorn club. Meanwhile, WinZo, a four-year-old company with over 75 million registered players, claims to offer a library of over 100 games accessible in 12 languages including English, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, and Bhojpuri. It collaborates with third-party developers to make games available on their Android and iOS devices.

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