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Ubisoft Wins Court Non-Compete Order Against Tremblay

Ubisoft Wins Court Non-Compete Order Against Tremblay

May 18, 2006 | By Simon Carless

Following the recent news that Ubisoft had filed a preliminary non-compete injunction against former Ubisoft Montreal head Martin Tremblay, now President of Worldwide Studios at Vivendi Games, in the Quebec Superior Court, an updated ruling has been filed.

In a ruling issued by the Superior Court of Montreal, the Honourable Justice Hélène Langlois has issued a safeguard order valid until June 7, 2006. The ruling orders Martin Tremblay to "respect the contractual obligations included in the employment contract he signed with Ubisoft", in a specific attempt to enforce the non-compete clause which has been a source of major controversy in Montreal gaming circles of late.

The text of the judgment stipulates that Martin Tremblay must: "...cease immediately working, directly or indirectly, within the territories of Canada, the United States and Mexico, for his own behalf or on behalf of any third party, in any business which manufactures or commercializes video products that may compete with products sold, manufactured or developed by applicant Ubisoft."

The just rejected Tremblay's allegations regarding the fact that he was the object of a "constructive dismissal". In her judgement, she stated that " doesn't appear from the proof that Martin Tremblay was the object of a constructive dismissal and consequently the non-compete clause produces all its effect. In this respect Ubisoft's right appears to be clear."

The controversy is particularly notable because Tremblay was Ubisoft's central figure supporting the company's repeated clashes between Electronic Arts and Ubisoft over non-compete related hiring for the companies' Montreal offices. In the most recent of these, EA hired Ubisoft employees in January 2006, continuing a tussle on the matter which saw a legal decision back in 2003 in favor of Ubisoft, after EA hired a number of ex-Splinter Cell personnel without the non-compete clause expiring.

Yves Guillemot, President of Ubisoft commented on the decision: "As demonstrated in the past and again today, Ubisoft will actively defend its intellectual property for the good of the organization and its 1400 Montreal creators. If Ubisoft's Montreal studio has become the creative force it is today, we owe it to the talented and passionate artists, designers and engineers working with us." Tremblay and Vivendi have not commented publically as of press time.

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