Sega is suing the crap out of Level-5. Best known for the Professor Layton puzzle games, Level-5 isn’t taking this one lying down.
As previously posted, Sega is claiming patent infringement in Level-5’s Inazuma Eleven soccer role-playing games and suing for the equivalent of US$11 million. Sega is contesting that Inazuma Eleven‘s touch interface that allows players to move characters with the touch pen and stylus violates two of its patents.
“Inazuma Eleven does not violate Sega’s patents,” a new statement by Level-5 reads.
Level-5’s argument is based around the fact that the first Inazuma Eleven game was released in August 2008, which, according to Level-5, is before Sega received its first patent in 2009. The second patent was granted in 2011. Level-5 noted that there were games that used touch pen controls before Sega filed for these patents.
“As a result of examining these discrepancies,” Level-5 stated, “we’ve concluded that there is no patent violation.”
Moreover, Level-5 pointed out that controlling characters via touch pen has spread throughout gaming and has become a fundamental mechanic.
“While Inazuma Eleven does not violate Sega’s patent, we do recognise that Sega’s lawsuit could restrict choices in gaming from here on out as well as hindering the growth of the game industry.”
Level-5 said the lawsuit makes the company “uncomfortable”, and it plans to fight it in court.