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Gizmondo Acquires Model Agency, Defends Lawsuits
Gizmondo Acquires Model Agency, Defends Lawsuits
June 6, 2005 | By Simon Carless

Handheld gaming device creator Gizmondo Europe has released its latest financial results via parent company Tiger Telematics, revealing news of an interesting diversification for the firm, as well as the status of a number of pending lawsuits against the company, following the announcement of an August 11th U.S. streetdate for the Gizmondo handheld.

Most interestingly, and largely unreported in public statements by Gizmondo, the company acquired a 75% stake in Isis Models Ltd, a London-based modeling agency, in early 2004, in return for 40,000 company shares, assuming liabilities of $223,099 along the way.

According to Tiger Telematics' financial report, the modeling agency "was acquired to provide marketing support and arrangements for Gizmondo", presumably to help with promotions such as Gizmondo's E3 trade show booth and other launch activities.

In fact, Carl Freer, Gizmondo's managing director, is quoted on the Isis Models official website as indicating: "We see the future of microelectronics, catering for the needs of women, and specifically young dynamic and above all successful women... This product will complement, and is a natural development for, our highly successful and state of the art telematics device launched at E3 earlier this year."

Elsewhere in the report, the company updated on a number of litigation-related issues. In particular, a $3 million lawsuit against Tiger Telematics by Jordan Grand Prix Limited, filed in London in early 2004, and based on the fact that Tiger violated a sponsorship agreement to feature advertising for the pre-Gizmondo 'Gametrac' device on the side of a Formula 1 car, is still in process, and trial is set for July 2005.

In addition, the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System filed a lawsuit against Gizmondo Europe on March 22nd of this year, alleging that predictive text software used in the Company's Gizmondo gaming device infringes a patent held by the University. However, according to Tiger Telematics: "The Company believes that its software does not infringe the Board of Regents' patent. The Company licenses this software from another company, which under the license agreement, has indemnified the Company for infringement claims."

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