The lights are on
At the beginning of May, we told you about Madden's original creator Robin Antonick. The designer of the now 25 year old franchise claims that he discovered some of his original code in contemporary versions of the long-running football simulation.
Antonick filed suit against EA for millions of dollars in royalties and other damages, and the case began this week. EA's first attempt to put the matter to rest was to claim that the statute of limitations had expired on Antonick's claim.
Today, a jury found in favor of the plaintiff that there was no way he could have known earlier that his work was allegedly infringed. According to the suit, Antonick found out in 2005 that elements of his work were still present in the code. This will allow the trial to move forward. According to Robert Carey, Antonick's attorney, this was "by far, EA's strongest defense."
The case will continue now, as Antonick and his counsel will need to show compelling evidence that his original work is still present in existing Madden NFL code.
This trial will include a judgment on Antonick's claim on Madden-related royalties on the $200 million of revenue from 1990 through 1996, punitive damages, and surrender of all profits from the franchise and related games. A secondary phase will determine damages related to remaining years of the series (1997 through 2013).
Click here for the full legal filing.