A U.S. district court judge in Los Angeles has dismissed several key claims by comic book publisher Marvel Enterprises in the company's trademark and copyright infringement case against publisher NCsoft and developer Cryptic Studios.
Marvel sued both companies in November of last year, claiming that the City of Heroes MMORPG allows players to imitate comic book characters owned by Marvel. The judge agreed with NCsoft that some of Marvel's allegations and exhibits should be stricken as "false and sham" because certain allegedly infringing works depicted in Marvel's pleadings were created not by users, but by Marvel itself.
False and sham! The sneaky buggers!
Although the judge allowed certain claims to survive the motion to dismiss, NCsoft and Cryptic Studios are reportedly pleased with the result. Citing a 1984 Supreme Court case holding that the sale of video cassette recorders did not violate copyright law, the Court noted that "It is uncontested that Defendants' game has a substantial non-infringing use. Generally the sale of products with substantial non-infringing uses does not evoke liability for contributory copyright infringement."
Silly Marvel. Don't they realise how this makes them look? Tut tut.