Videotronics, Inc. v. Bend Electronics

564 F. Supp. 1471 (1983)

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Videotronics, Inc. v. Bend Electronics

United States District Court for the District of Nevada
564 F. Supp. 1471 (1983)

Facts

Videotronics, Inc. (plaintiff) had spent substantial time and expense developing and producing a video poker game called Challenger Wild Poker (the game). The game included a unique circuit design, a character-generator mechanism, and a computer program stored on a tiny silicon chip. Even though the game’s computer program would have been covered under the federal Copyright Act of 1976, Videotronics had not copyrighted the program. Video Horizons, Inc. (VHI) (defendant), a successor to Bend Electronics (defendant), distributed the game for Videotronics. Videotronics and VHI had no written agreement requiring VHI to maintain secrecy regarding any of the game’s components. At some point, VHI copied the computer-program chip from the game and began producing and marketing a competing video poker game. Videotronics sued Bend and VHI in federal court in Nevada, asserting, among other things, a claim for misappropriation of trade secrets under Nevada law. Videotronics sought a preliminary injunction to prevent Bend and VHI from manufacturing, advertising, or selling the competing video poker game. Videotronics’ complaint did not plead any violations of the federal Copyright Act. In considering Videotronics’ request for injunctive relief, the district court considered whether Videotronics could base the action on the alleged state-law violation or whether Videotronics had to base the action on federal copyright law.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Reed, J.)

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