U.S. Judge Throws Out ‘Meritless’ Lawsuit Against Ethereum Game CryptoKitties

The creator of CryptoKitties, Axiom Zen was being sued for allegedly stealing trade secrets and violated a confidentiality agreement in connection with a recent promotion that featured celebrity-based CryptoKitties. But today Judge Sammartino threw out the case because he was skeptical about the suit and the fact that the lawsuit tried to attempt to bar Axiom Zen from conducting any celebrity-based promotions.

Starcoin had requested for a preliminary injunction against Axiom Zen which was denied by Judge Sammartino. The court found that the plaintiff had failed to demonstrate that the case against CryptoKitties could be won based on the merits.

Starcoin is a company that operates under the name Tradestar. They had filed a lawsuit against Axiom Zen in May. The lawsuit argued that Zen stole their digital collectibles that were modeled after celebrity likenesses.

CryptoKitties is currently the most popular game on the Ethereum network. The game allows the users to buy, sell, and even breed unique digital cats. This is an interesting idea that is working. No one could’ve thought that people would pay to buy, sell, or even breed digital cats on a decentralized application.

CryptoKitties, a decentralized application (dApp). They briefly ran a promotion in which they sold digital felines that were modeled after the likeness and personality of NBA superstar Stephen Curry. But they had to shut down the promotion after finding out that Curry was not as involved with the company as they thought he was.

In the suit, the plaintiff was arguing that CryptoKitties had stolen their idea which was named “CurryKitties” which would be used for the promotion later down the road. It was later found out that Axiom Zen had a partnership agreement with Curry’s app development company a month before Tradestar had any contact with Axiom Zen.

Right from the start, Judge Sammartino was skeptical of the suit because Tradestar was attempting to get Zen barred from conducting any celebrity-based promotions. The lawsuit seemed more like a personal vengeance than a legitimate suit based on merits.

According to the transcripts from the proceedings, here’s what Judge Sammartino said:

“Well, counsel, that’s quite a stretch, sir. I mean, I don’t know that licensing with celebrities on anything can be a trade secret because everybody does it. Mr. Curry is out there everywhere. How can you say that? It just – okay, that’s fine. That’s your view of things, and let me hear from them. I’m just concerned.”

Sam Gharegozlou, the President of Axiom Zen commented after the case was dismissed:

“We knew this case was without merit, and tried not to let it distract us—it’s clear the judge had the same attitude. Like copycat products and sensationalized press, a lawsuit is a sign we’re doing well.”

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