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Ubisoft files complaint against author in  Assassin's Creed  disagreement

Ubisoft files complaint against author in Assassin's Creed disagreement Exclusive

May 31, 2012 | By Mike Rose

May 31, 2012 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing, Exclusive

[Update: Author John Beiswenger has now told Gamasutra that, as of August 21, Ubisoft has withdrawn the lawsuit against him, although he was not able to provide any more information. Gamasutra has contacted Ubisoft for confirmation.]

Ubisoft has told Gamasutra that it is looking to receive a ruling that states that American author John L. Beiswenger's lawsuit against the company earlier this year was "entirely meritless."

Beiswenger had previously sued Ubisoft and Gametrailers, alleging that the storyline behind the popular Assassin's Creed franchise features many similarities to one of his novels. While he settled out of court with Gametrailers, he decided to step away from his legal charges against Ubisoft earlier this week.

However, Beiswenger dismissed the case "without prejudice," meaning that he can re-file the claim at any time.

Now Ubisoft has filed a complaint against Beiswenger, as it looks to seek a declaration of rights that Assassin's Creed does not in fact infringe on the author's alleged copyright.

"The plaintiff in the case alleging copyright infringement by Ubisoft has dropped his claim, without settlement," the company said in a statement. "Ubisoft believes this suit was frivolous and without merit, and is seeking a ruling to prevent future related claims."

It continued, "We are proud of our creative teams and will continue to vigorously defend the intellectual property they develop."

In the complaint obtained by Gamasutra, Ubisoft alleges that Beiswenger's infringement claims were based on "patently non-copyrightable elements."

"A declaration is necessary to enable Ubisoft to continue to develop and market creative content under the Assassin's Creed brand free from the cloud that Beiswenger's meritless claims have placed over Ubisoft's right to do so," the complaint reads.

Apart from this declaration, Ubisoft is seeking the costs and expensive incurred as part of the lawsuit, and "further relief as the Court deems just and proper."

Beiswenger told Gamasutra that he is yet to see the complaint. The author has previously stated on Gamasutra, "I filed the Complaint and Motion for Preliminary Injunction in federal court because I believe authors should vigorously defend their rights in their creative works. Otherwise, the laws protecting those rights simply have no purpose. Regrettably, the resources required to defend those rights are unavailable to many individual creators so rampant infringement appears to occur with impunity."

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