Andrew Greenberg, Inc. v. Sir-Tech Software, Inc.

245 A.D.2d 1004 (1997)

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Andrew Greenberg, Inc. v. Sir-Tech Software, Inc.

New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
245 A.D.2d 1004 (1997)

  • Written by Alexander Hager-DeMyer, JD

Facts

Andrew Greenberg, Inc (AGI) (plaintiff) created the computer game Wizardry. AGI granted Sir-Tech Software, Inc. (Sir-Tech) (defendant) an exclusive license to manufacture and market the Wizardry game, related products, and any subsequent Wizardry games and related products. The contract provided that AGI could receive royalty payments and that all Wizardry games and products would be copyrighted with AGI as a co-owner. Sir-Tech began marketing Wizardry and related products under the authorship of David Bradley (defendant), a game designer. Sir-Tech contracted with Bradley to develop the Wizardry game Crusaders of the Dark Savant (Crusaders). During development of the game, AGI filed suit against Sir-Tech and Bradley for alleged trademark and copyright infringement, among other claims. The district court dismissed the suit. Bradley did not finish development of Crusaders until a year and a half after the initial deadline, six months after the lawsuit was dismissed. AGI attempted to sue in state court, and Sir-Tech responded with its own lawsuit against AGI and its principal, Andrew Greenberg, arguing that AGI tortiously interfered with Sir-Tech’s development contract with Bradley for Crusaders. Sir-Tech claimed that Bradley was on schedule to complete Crusaders before AGI’s first lawsuit but that Bradley was forced to stop development after he was named in the action, delaying development and costing Sir-Tech nearly one million dollars in sale and marketing investments for the game. Sir-Tech failed to show evidence that AGI knew about Bradley’s contract or that AGI filed its lawsuit with the solely malicious intent to stop contract completion. Sir-Tech claimed that the lack of evidence was due to AGI’s resistance to discovery. Communications between Bradley and Sir-Tech during game development did not mention the AGI lawsuit as a factor in the schedule. Additionally, evidence showed that Bradley was never unable to work on Crusaders during development and that the production delays may have been due to other factors. The trial court granted summary judgment for AGI, and Sir-Tech appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Mercure, J.)

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