THQ Victorious In Ubisoft Court Battle

by Jim Reilly on Dec 16, 2011 at 08:24 AM

A Quebec appeals court struck down a injunction that would have prevented THQ from poaching talent from Ubisoft's studios.

Ubisoft was granted the injunction last March after Assassin's Creed creative director Patrice Désilets left the company to join THQ in 2010. Following his departure, Désilets recruited a number of Ubisoft developers, which the publisher claimed broke a non-compete clause that prevented him from doing so for at least one year.

"The Court of Appeal’s decision is a tremendous victory for THQ Montreal and all of the creative talent working in the video game industry in Montreal.  We are thrilled with the Court’s decision in this matter because we believe strongly in an individual’s freedom to choose where they want to be employed,” said Ed Kaufman, EVP, Business and Legal Affairs at THQ.

"Our goal has always been to promote free competition and to allow the many creative talent in the interactive entertainment industry in Montreal to be able to choose where they want to work.  We believe the Court of Appeal’s decision will promote competition, alleviate people’s fears and encourage more talented people to join Patrice and our other creative employees at our state-of-the-art studio in Montreal.”

The Court of Appeal says THQ was not bound by any non-competition restrictions and was therefore free to solicit any Ubisoft employee, provided it was not unfair competition. The Court said THQ's solicitation of Ubisoft employees "did not constitute unfair competition but rather the exercise of its legitimate legal rights based on the principle of liberty of commerce and trade."