Rovio, the Finnish game developer of the popular Angry birds franchise, has won its court battle with toy vendor Toy Amazon on the grounds of copyright and trademark infringement. The total amount of cash awarded by United States District Judge Katherine B. Forrest was $2.7 million, which breaks down to $1.2 million for copyright damages and $1.5 million for trademark infringement. Toy Amazon, based in Monterey Park, California, is also barred from further infringement of Rovio’s copyright or trademark.
The case came about in 2012 after Rovio discovered several counterfeit items for sale that the company never authorized. Rovio, according to court documents, made efforts to reach a settlement with Toy Amazon, as well as Allstar Vending, based in Canada. Toy Amazon claimed that they had purchased the items from an unidentified toy company in the toy district in Los Angeles. According to an article reported by Reuters last year, Toy Amazon said that “We don’t have any money, so I’m not going to do anything about it.” It also stated that Toy Amazon was in the process of closing its doors for good.
Rovio is no stranger to the courts. They have made several infringement claims in the past, as well as having lawsuits filed against them for various infringement. Angry Birds is one of the most downloaded games of all time and has seen a huge explosion in the past with merchandising, even shipping Angry Birds coffee in Finland.. Those numbers have dropped in the past couple of years, however, the company remains very much profitable and hopeful. With an upcoming movie in 2016 and slumping merchandise sales, Rovio needed to send the message that all counterfeit merchandise will be handled appropriately. The company has reported total revenue at around $170 million as of 2014. We can probably expect to see more of these types of cases as the movie draws near. With an expected boost to Rovio’s revenue, others will no doubt want to capitalize on the Angry Birds brand. We will have to wait and see how Rovio will handle these instances of infringement as they come. Do you think the court was right in their decision?