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Atari sues Nestlé for copyright and trademark infringement

Missouri gamers might be interested in learning that Atari is suing Nestlé SA, a Swiss corporation, for infringing on its trademarks and copyrights. The lawsuit concerns a video game from Atari called Breakout.

According to the court documents, Nestlé infringed on Atari's Breakout video game by incorporating elements from it into Nestlé's multi-million dollar ad campaign for its Kit Kat bars. Atari alleges that Nestlé took the classic game's interface, which depicts a brick wall, by replacing the bricks with the Kit Kat bars and inviting viewers to "breakout".

The game was invented and released by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak for Atari 40 years ago. Despite its age, the game remains popular and is available for downloads on mobile devices and on other platforms, including the XBox 360, PlayStation and iPhone. Atari has alleged six separate causes of action against Nestlé and is seeking injunctive relief, actual damages, treble damages for the profits from the infringement, actual profits and statutory damages. It is unclear whether Nestlé has filed a response. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Aug. 17.

Businesses often prosecute their copyrights, trademarks and other intellectual property aggressively. The intellectual property of a business is invaluable. When it is infringed, the businesses may suffer lost profits, reputational damage and other harms. Business and commercial law attorneys who are experienced in intellectual property disputes might help their clients to secure injunctions that order infringing parties to immediately cease using the intellectual property at issue. They might also help their clients to recover damages for the losses that they suffered from the infringements.

Source: IP Watchdog, "Atari files suit against Nestlé for Kit Kat ad campaign that infringed on Breakout video game," Steve Brachmann, Aug. 22, 2017.

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