Aristocrat Leisure Sues Ainsworth

Bianca Munz | 09 July 2019

Australian gaming technology developer Aristocrat Leisure has officially brought a lawsuit to the Australian Federal Courts. The lawsuit is based around allegations are that rival company Ainsworth Gaming Technology (AGT) has stolen their intellectual property. The matter landed in the courts on the 3rd of July, but there is still little indication as to how it is going to unfold.

According to Aristocrat Leisure, it is their most popular pokie from last year, Lighting Link that is the centre of the controversy. It is game that has proved enormously popular in both United States and Australian outlets, going a long way in helping to boost the developer’s bottom line. Allegations are that AGT stole key technology from the game and used it in a production of their own, blatantly breaking Consumer Laws.

Beyond Copyright Infringement

Breaking copyright laws is no laughing matter, but the allegations go well beyond theft of intellectual property. The origin of the situation dates back to April 2018, when Aristocrat Leisure demanded that AGT grant access to files relating to a specific production; Jackpot Strike. Claims were that the title had more in common with Lightening Link than seemed purely coincidental.

In response to this the accused company claimed that they had searched their own files, and found nothing that seemed out of the ordinary. The matter was temporarily put to uneasy rest, but now seems to be reaching an explosive conclusion. The original charges of intellectual theft have ballooned into corporate espionage.

Corporate Espionage?

It turns out that a Mister Sujay Prabhu had worked for Aristocrat Leisure for a brief three-week period. During that time claims are that he interfaced with a server against company policy, accessing files that had nothing to do with his official job. He was dismissed from the position, after which he returned to a previous job at AGT. The company immediately gave him a game designer position, which happened to be for Jackpot Strike. The plot thickens with Mister Prabhu claiming to have lost the suspicious USB stick, which is more than enough to raise a few questions

A strange series of events regardless if there was corporate espionage involved, or not. Either way, the Australian Federal Court will be handling the matter and getting to the bottom of it. The outcome could be one that drastically harms the reputation of a key Australian development studio, should the matter indeed turn out to be corporate espionage.

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