Sega sues Level-5 for patent infractions

Sega sues Level-5 for patent infractions

by December 11, 2012

Sega loves going to the courts

Looks like Sega is pretty comfortable with suing and court lawsuits. Now, they have sued Level-5, developers of many games like the professor Layton series, or Inazuma Eleven.

In fact, it’s just for that Inazuma Eleven series, that they have sued them for 900 million yen ( around $11 million/8’44 € million) and to stop selling 8 of the Inazuma Eleven titles. Sega assures that level-5 has infringed several of their patents in that game series. To be exact, they say the way you control characters using the fingertips or the stylus on the touchscreen is their patent, and that they have used it on the Inazuma Eleven game series without their permission.

It’s true that SEGA had used the very same control scheme the acclaimed football RPG game from Level- 5 uses before, in games like Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, but it’s pretty strange that this kind of patent, so relevant for Nintendo DS games, is owned by Sega and not by Nintendo.

Inazuma Eleven is a pretty successful series in Japan and Europe, who has even spun off in an anime series and manga. Could this be some sort of maneuver to eliminate a serious competitor, or just to win some easy money now that their economical status is not as good as they would like to?