Legal Headaches Mount for Light & Wonder as Second Infringement Lawsuit Appears

Evolution Gaming has initiated a lawsuit against Light & Wonder for alleged copyright infringement. It's the second lawsuit Light & Wonder has had to respond to so far this year.

A Light & Wonder billboard promoting its new games. (Source: Working Not Working)

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This case centers around Evolution Gaming's claim that Light & Wonder has unlawfully utilized intellectual property (IP) related to Evolution's Lightning Roulette game. According to the lawsuit filed in the Nevada District Court, Evolution alleges that Light & Wonder accessed mathematical files integral to the Lightning Roulette title to create similar games, which Evolution deems as "copycat" products.

Related: First Quarter 2024 Revenue at Light & Wonder Reaches New Milestone

Evolution Gaming's Lightning Roulette is a prominent fixture in the US gaming market, known for its innovative blend of traditional roulette play with advanced RNG gameplay. The dispute traces back to 2021 when Evolution Gaming approached Scientific Games, now known as LNW Gaming, a subsidiary of Light & Wonder, to discuss the development of a land-based version of Lightning Roulette.

During these discussions, Evolution Gaming claims to have shared confidential information, including the mathematical model of the game, under the expectation of forming a partnership. However, the partnership did not materialize, and Light & Wonder subsequently released Roulette X and PowerX, which Evolution Gaming asserts are derivative of their Lightning Roulette.

In response to these allegations, Light & Wonder has denied any wrongdoing, maintaining that its products are original creations and not infringements upon Evolution Gaming's intellectual property. The denial of these allegations is a stance that Light & Wonder has consistently held, even in the face of previous legal challenges.

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Repeat Allegations of IP Infringement

Notably, this is not the first instance of Light & Wonder being accused of copyright infringement in 2024. Earlier in the year, Aristocrat, an Australian gaming company, filed a similar lawsuit against the company. Aristocrat's lawsuit, also lodged in the Nevada District Court, accused Light & Wonder of producing games that were essentially imitations of Aristocrat's Dragon Link and Lightning Link titles.

The lawsuit alleges that Light & Wonder's Jewel of the Dragon and Dragon Train games bear remarkable similarities to Aristocrat's own products. This accusation is particularly sensitive given that two former employees of Aristocrat were involved in the development of Light & Wonder's contested games. These employees had joined Light & Wonder in 2021.

The outcomes of these lawsuits could have far-reaching implications for the gaming industry, particularly in the realm of IP rights and the protection of game mechanics and designs. Evolution is seeking compensatory, exemplary, and punitive damages, which could amount to double or triple the actual losses incurred due to the alleged infringement.

Similarly, Aristocrat is pursuing monetary damages and an injunction to prevent Light & Wonder from continuing to offer the disputed games. The resolution of these cases will likely set precedents for how game designs are protected and how gaming companies navigate the sharing of IP within the industry.


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