Confronting in intellectual property case HD 200113654-01 before the Hertogenbosch court in the Netherlands was BetSoft's Cyprus-based parent Digitus Limited and Bubble Group NV, parent group for Sheriff Gaming, over the use of an expanding "zoom effect" in software when winning lines on a slot machine are hit.
Digitus appeal action against Bubble ended up with Judges J.M. Brandenburg, P.M. Huijbers-Koopman and M.A. Wabeke finding in favor of Bubble Group, opining that there was no question of copyright protection on the so-called "zoom effect" as there does not appear to be evidence of original creative ownership.
A statement Sheriff Gaming issued on Tuesday says that the latest clash was on an appeal by BetSoft after it lost its original claim in the Dutch Court of First Instance earlier this year.
In that case, BetSoft had approached several of Bubble Group’s clients directly, informing them that Bubble Group was infringing Betsofts’ IP rights and encouraging clients to cease business with Bubble Group. But the Court of Appeal concluded that BetSoft was unable to provide any additional evidence to validate its accusations.
The judge recommended that BetSoft immediately refrain from any further claims to third parties that the use of the zoom / Expandicon effect in games in Holland infringes BetSoft rights.
The Court of Appeal explicitly found that BetSoft presented in court a report based on manipulated basis/data, and therefore the Court found that BetSoft was never in a position to claim infringement, or even have a reasonable suspicion that its IP-rights had been infringed by Bubble Group.
Expressing satisfaction, Stijn Flapper, CEO of Bubble Group/Sheriff Gaming, said: “We couldn’t be happier by this latest ruling and we hope that we can now move forward whilst proving irrevocable proof to our clients and the rest of the industry that we are a true innovator of 3D games."
Consequently, BetSoft was ordered to pay the costs of the proceedings, on the part of Bubble estimated at Euro666, and Euro16,000 in legal disbursements.