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Grosso Revisited: Screenwriter Sues Microsoft for Idea Theft

On Monday, Roger Avary sued Microsoft for allegedly stealing his idea for a new, yoga-based video game designed for women. Avary's case is pending in the West District (Santa Monica) Courthouse of the Los Angeles County Superior Court. A copy of his complaint is available here. If you're interested, Avary has posted a two-day-old website to monitor his litigation with Microsoft.

Avary's case is of particular interest to me because it falls so closely on the heels of the Grosso v. Miramax case that I recently reported on in October. In that case, Grosso's copyright claim was barred. However, the Ninth Circuit allowed his claim for breach of an "implied contract" to survive pre-emption under the Copyright Act on the ground that there was a "bilateral expectation of compensation" that acted as an additional "element" beyond the scope of copyright law. It is, of course, interesting to note both that Avary does not claim that Microsoft infringed any copyright interest he may have in the video game, including its concept, and that his action was filed in state court, not federal court, which has exclusive jurisdiction over copyright claims.

This is precisely the kind of case that one would expect following the Ninth Circuit's decision. And while one case certainly does not mean the proverbial floodgates have opened in state courts, to the extent anyone read my prior blog article, I told you so.

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by Gregory D. Granger on Wednesday, November 17, 2004 at 15:59 Comments Closed (0) |
 
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