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Silicon Knights ordered to destroy code, games related to Epic trial

Silicon Knights ordered to destroy code, games related to Epic trial

November 9, 2012 | By Mike Rose

In the wake of Epic Games' court case victory against Silicon Knights, the latter has now been instructed to recall and destroy unsold copies of its games, destroy existing code for in-development projects, and pay Epic a fine of over $9 million.

This legal dispute began in 2007 when the Canadian studio accused North Carolina-based Epic Games (Gears of War) of "sabotaging efforts by Silicon Knights and others to develop their own video games" with the company's Unreal Engine 3. Epic was awarded the victory in May of this year, and told it could receive $4.45 million in damages.

In new court documents [PDF], North Carolina District Judge James Dever has now stated that Silicon Knights "repeatedly and deliberately copied significant portions of Epic Games's code containing trade secrets... and used it to create a competing product, Silicon Knights's own game engine."

With this in mind, the judge has ordered Silicon Knights to remove all of Epic Games's technology from its own game engine, and destroy the code for all prior versions of the Silicon Knights's game engine in its possession.

The company must also allow Epic to "independently verify that Silicon Knights's game engine no longer contains and of Epic Games's Licenced Technology," handing over all computers, servers, databases and everything else for Epic to access and check for itself.

Alongside this order, the judge also stated that Silicon Knights must recall and destroy all unsold copies of its Too Human and X-Men: Destiny titles, and must destroy any code done on the unreleased (and until now, unannounced) titles The Box/Ritualyst, The Sandman, and Siren in the Maelstrom.

Production and distribution on all of these titles must also be halted. The judge also warned that any other product containing Epic Games's code must be brought to light, and the same consequences carried out in this case as well.

The developer -- which is rumored to employ five or fewer employees at present -- must also pay a total of $9.2 million to Epic: $4.5 million in damages, and Epic's $4.7 million legal costs.

Silicon Knights has until December 21, 2012 to comply with this order.

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