Gaming software development organisation Castle Hill Gaming and Video Gaming Technologies have settled an intellectual property rights lawsuit after two years, with each claiming to have secured the upper hand.
Initially filed in 2017 the case concerned alleged infringements of certain VGT trademarks, trade dress and trade secrets, with the US District Court in Tulsa, Oklahoma, dismissing 19 of VGT’s 20 registered trademark claims against Castle Hill.
Under the terms of the settlement, Castle Hill is to change out, and no longer use the game titles New Money, Arctic Cash, Arctic Ice and Welcome to Nugget Mountain, along with any associated artwork and characters, and any variations of the titles.
Furthermore, as well as the agreement of a $3m payment to VGT, purchased by Aristocrat in 2014 for $1.3bn, the firm is to also remove and no longer use certain machine features and paytables, with all relevant games and machines to be modified by April 1, 2020.
Hector Fernandez, president of Aristocrat Technologies, stated: “This settlement again confirms VGT’s, and Aristocrat’s, determination to protect our intellectual property, including VGT’s market-leading class II portfolio. We will continue to be proactive and aggressive in defending our assets going forward.”
On the contrary, Castle Hill has lauded a “David versus Goliath outcome,” stating that the settlement comes with money from its insurance policy and “a few insignificant changes” to some of its class II games.
Furthermore, the privately-held startup also states that “VGT spent millions of dollars more on attorneys’ fees litigating the dispute than it will receive from Castle Hill’s insurance company.”
Arthur Watson, Castle Hill Gaming’s CEO, commented: “We are thrilled with this David versus Goliath outcome. I believe that VGT and its parent company, Aristocrat, wanted to put us out of business because they saw us as a competitive threat.
“Our games are performing at par with their games in many of the casinos in which we compete. But we have survived, thrived, and are entering new markets like historical horse racing.”