On August 13, Founder Electronics Co., Ltd., one of Founder
Group's subsidiaries, officially filed a lawsuit against Blizzard
Entertainment, a US game giant.
Founder, China's leading IT enterprise, claims Blizzard has
committed intellectual property rights (IPR) infringement by using
its products without permission or payment. In its lawsuit taken up
by the Higher People's Court of Beijing, the company is asking for
100 million yuan (about US$ 13.19 million) as compensation from
Founder said that without authorization, Blizzard used Founder's
five types of Chinese characters in its Chinese version of
World of Warcraft. These character styles are included in
the "Founder Font" that has been exclusively owned by Founder since
it was developed by the company in 1974.
World of Warcraft is an online game developed by
Blizzard in 2003, grossing nearly 70 percent of the company's
entire game-generated profits. Launched on the Chinese mainland in
2005, the game has attracted 3.5 million Chinese players and reaped
large profits for Blizzard.
Founder argues that with World of Warcraft's very
strong presence on the Chinese market, Blizzard has caused over 1
billion yuan in damages. However, the company declined to comment
why it only claimed for 100 million yuan in its lawsuit, a small
portion of the alleged damages. Meanwhile, it did not want to
reveal where its evidences came from but promised to offer relevant
explanations later on.
In addition, as the mainland's exclusive subscription service
provider for the Chinese version of World of Warcraft,
The9 Limited may have to take on some of the responsibility for the
IPR violation. Founder says it is up to the court to decide whether
or not The9 Limited will be involved in the
(China.org.cn by Pang Li, August 14, 2007)