Atari, Inc. v. Amusement World, Inc.
United States District Court for the District of Maryland
547 F. Supp. 222 (1982)
Atari, Inc. (plaintiff) held a copyright on Asteroids, a video game in which players directed a spaceship through a field of space rocks and enemy spacecrafts. Amusement World, Inc. (Amusement) (defendant) created a game called Meteors. The games had many similarities, including their general premise, several game mechanics, controls, and point systems. However, Meteors also differed in several ways. Meteors was in color, featured three-dimensional shading, had increased difficulty and pacing, and showcased the player’s spaceship blasting off from Earth instead of starting the game in space. Atari sent Amusement a cease-and-desist letter, which Amusement ignored. Atari filed a copyright-infringement suit seeking an injunction to prevent Amusement from manufacturing or distributing Meteors.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Young, J.)
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