Sega Is Suing The Crap Out Of Level-5

In the West, Level-5 is perhaps best known for the Professor Layton puzzle games. In Japan, the Fukuoka-based game company is also famous for its Inazuma Eleven soccer games. Those games are at the centre of a lawsuit.

According to Yomiuri Online, Sega is suing Level-5 for patent infringement in the Inazuma Eleven Nintendo DS games -- namely the in-game mechanic that allows players to move controllers via their finger or via the touch pen.

The Yomiuri piece does not go into further detail about Sega's patents or how they differ in the touch controls Nintendo has used in DS games.

Inazuma Eleven is a soccer role-playing game as well as a popular anime. Sega publishes a series of soccer management sims called Football Manager. It's not yet known whether or not Football Manager factors into this suit.

Sega is calling for the sale of all eight Inazuma Eleven games to be stopped, plus ¥900 million. Opening arguments were heard on December 7.

Level-5 will fight this suit and said, "We are preparing our rebuttal and do not have any comments to make at this time."

イナズマイレブン巡り…セガ、ゲーム特許で提訴 [Yomiuri Online]

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    Sure, you control players on a touchscreen in both. But does SEGA's game have this?

    seriously sega? wtf? the nindendo DS has been out for years... and before that? PHONES that use your fingers or pens!
    the only patent you have to sue with is making a good console and still make it fail badly.

    I have a bad feeling about this. I really don't want games to be an overly litigious environment.

      Sadly its been like that since Atari first started trying to sue the entire planet for all the look-alike pacman clones. Nothing new here really.

      Actually I kind of wish some of the indy studios got the brass up to start going after companies like zynga for actually-really ripping off games/ideas

    See unless they copy your code that's like saying I have a Patient on using a joystick to move your character.

    Wait so sega are suing level-5 for the use of a mechanic in Nintendos touch screen... when the touch screen was made for this type of thing.. what?

    Level-5 > Sega atm imo so good luck level 5!

    For the curious, the Escapist has (possible) details on one of the patents. (

    Let's hope it doesn't end up as another slide-to-unlock patent war.

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