Epic Files Motion to Dismiss in Case Against Silicon Knights

After developer Silicon Knights sued Epic Games on the grounds of Epic providing a less-than-capable Unreal Engine 3 to Silicon Knights, Epic has responded with a Motion to Dismiss.

From Gamasutra:

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Epic's motion to dismiss memorandum, sent to Gamasutra by Epic's Mark Rein, says of Silicon Knights that it "used Epic's intellectual property to develop what SK expects will be a commercially lucrative video game that it is about to publicly release," but, "having exploited Epic's intellectual property to its advantage, SK now seeks to renege on its payment obligations under the License Agreement. In short, SK's lawsuit is a pretense. SK does not have any valid claims against Epic. SK filed suit in a bid to renegotiate the License Agreement, in the hope that Epic will prefer that to the burden of responding to discovery and associated adverse publicity."

NextGen reports on a clause in the UE3 license agreement that SK had overlooked:

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Potentially damaging to Silicon Knights' claims is the licensing agreement for UE3, which states, according the filing, that Epic's warranties "do not include any warranty that the functions performed by the Unreal Engine ... will meet [Silicon Knights'] requirements, nor that the operation of the Unreal Engine ... will be bug free or error free in all circumstances, nor that any defects of the Unreal Engine ... can or will be corrected." Epic stated that Silicon Knights' "infringement has at all times been willfull." The firm added that Silicon Knights "failed to devote its best efforts to develop a game using Unreal Engine 3." Epic said Silicon Knights created a "culture of isolation" that severed ties between UE3 developer support and Silicon Knights.

In addition, what Epic is seeking in response to SK's demands, one of which was to direct all sales of Gears of War to SK as compensation for damages they incurred, Epic responds with some serious demands that could signal the death of Too Human, SK's upcoming game:

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Epic is demanding compensation of damages, legal fees, an injunction, destruction of applicable infringing computer code and games, compensatory damages (the breach of contract counterclaim carries a demand alone of at least $650,000) and "proceeds and profits resulting therefrom created by Silicon Knights in violation of Epic's Intellectual Property Rights."

Finally, Gamespot notes:

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It also noted in the months prior to the countersuit that Silicon Knights accessed "virtually all" of the Unreal Engine 3 documentation that Epic makes available to partners online, "consistent with an effort to archive documentation for use outside the scope of the license agreement."

News source: BeyondUnreal

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