MumboJumbo v. PopCap (2010)
MumboJumbo, the creator of casual video game titles such as Midnight Mysteries: The Edgar Allan Poe Conspiracy, Luxor Adventures and Samantha Swift and the Mystery from Atlantis, has won a legal battle against its former business partner over the sale and distribution of premium casual games.
In 2006, MumboJumbo and Seattle-based PopCap Games, Inc., reached an agreement whereby MumboJumbo would produce, distribute and sell certain PopCap games in North America. In finding for MumboJumbo, a jury in the 193rd Civil District Court in Dallas County, Texas, agreed that PopCap breached the contract when it went behind MumboJumbo's back and decided to market and sell its games on its own.
The verdict follows 12 days of trial during which MumboJumbo's lawyers showed that PopCap committed fraud and tortious interference when it severely damaged the business relationship between MumboJumbo and a key retailer. Central to proving that portion of the case were PopCap's own internal e-mail messages, which showed the company employed a calculated use of false and misleading statements in order to sour that business relationship.
"The jury has spoken and demanded that businesses play by the rules," says Rose•Walker attorney Ross Cunningham.
The jury's verdict includes $4.6 million in actual damages. A separate hearing to decide on the amount of attorneys' fees to add to the damages is scheduled for later this week.
"The law allows you to do plenty of things to be successful in business," says attorney Marty Rose of Dallas-based Rose•Walker, who represents MumboJumbo. "However, it does not allow you to commit fraud or interfere with a company's business relationships. The jury's verdict is a clear signal that this type of business conduct is not going to be tolerated."
- Game Guy Barry White email@example.com