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Ubisoft sued over alleged infringement of  Assassin's Creed  storyline

Ubisoft sued over alleged infringement of Assassin's Creed storyline

April 18, 2012 | By Mike Rose

April 18, 2012 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

An American author and research engineer has filed a lawsuit against Ubisoft and Gametrailers, alleging that the storyline behind the popular Assassin's Creed features many similarities to one of his novels.

John Beiswenger wrote and published his novel Link in 2002, while the first Assassin's Creed video game was released in 2007.

In the copyright infringement papers filed with the U.S. District Court for the middle district of Pennsylvania earlier this week, Beiswenger alleges 11 counts of copyright infringement against Ubisoft and Gametrailers, across the Assassin's Creed video games, books and video trailers.

The author claims that numerous plotlines in the Ubisoft series are heavily borrowed from his Link novel. Link features a device and a lab which allows the characters to relive memories through the eyes of ancestors.

He alleges that the Link device and lab are very similar to the Animus in Assassin's Creed, which allows the main character to go back in time and relive various periods through his ancestors.

The book also makes references to assassins and assassinations with regards to the Link device, claims Beiswenger. The legal document provides dozens of examples of what the author alleges is proof that the Assassin's Creed storyline is very similar to his own storyline.

Elsewhere, the author is suing Gametrailers for a number of video trailers that relate to the Assassin's Creed series, including a game trailer for the latest game in the franchise, Assassin's Creed Revelations.

Beiswenger is looking to halt any further infringement of his copyright, he claims, and is demanding damages of up to $5.25 million.

Gamasutra has reached out to Ubisoft for comment.

Besides his authoring work, Beiswenger is also a product research engineer, and is named on over 20 U.S. utility patents, including color LCD touch display technology, digital alarm clock electronics, fingerprint scanning technology and surgical instrument sterilization.

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