Jury knocks out Atari's IP claims against online marketplace

2 minute read

The Atari booth at E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, in Los Angeles June 8, 2011. REUTERS/Phil McCarten

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  • Atari accused print-on-demand site of selling infringing clothes
  • California jury finds no infringement, counterfeiting

(Reuters) - A jury in California federal court rejected Atari's claims on Thursday that print-on-demand website Redbubble Inc violated its intellectual property rights by selling apparel with its logo and art from classic video games.

New York-based Atari Interactive Inc sued the Australia-based online marketplace in 2018, saying it was "powered by a substantial quantity of counterfeit goods," including unauthorized t-shirts using Atari's a-shaped "Fuji" trademark and logos and art for games including "Pong" and "Centipede."

The jury found Redbubble wasn't liable for copyright infringement, trademark infringement, or trademark counterfeiting. Redbubble had argued that it was a "transactional intermediary" that doesn't sell, offer or advertise the goods at issue itself, and that it wasn't liable for the sales it facilitated which were made and fulfilled by others.

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Redbubble's attorney Joseph Gratz of Durie Tangri said in an email that he was "thrilled with the jury's complete vindication" of his client.

Atari and its attorneys Matthew Venezia and Christopher Arledge of Browne George Ross O'Brien Annaguey & Ellis didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Atari has also filed other lawsuits in the same court against similar websites like Zazzle Inc, most of which have settled on undisclosed terms. Its lawsuit against Teespring Inc is still pending.

U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar presided.

The case is Atari Interactive Inc v. Redbubble Inc, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, No. 4:18-cv-03451.

For Atari: Matthew Venezia and Christopher Arledge of Browne George Ross O'Brien Annaguey & Ellis

For Redbubble: Joseph Gratz and Allyson Bennett of Durie Tangri

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Blake Brittain reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Reach him at blake.brittain@thomsonreuters.com