The Delhi High Court held that the concept of combining Fantasy League with Stock Market is not unique and does not amount to copyright infringement.
“There were prior-existing gaming apps with stock trading feature, which dents the Plaintiffs’ claim to originality in the alleged unique feature of stock trading and therefore, no monopoly and consequent protection can be granted,” bench of Justice Jyoti Singh reasoned.
The court found that Plaintiffs have misrepresented that they have launched ‘first of its kind Fantasy League Gaming platform for cricket, football, basketball and Kabaddi’, which formed the basis of the ex parte injunction order, a relief in equity. Even on merits on a prima facie view, there is no substantial similarity in the User Interface by the Defendants and the concept note lacks originality.
The Plaintiffs submitted that it has devised a ‘first of its kind’ fantasy league gaming platform for cricket, football, basketball and kabaddi and what sets it apart from the other fantasy gaming Apps, where the users play like a real game but virtually, is that EXCHANGE22 incorporates the unique traits of ‘share market trading’ which allows the user to buy/sell the players in the same manner as one would buy/sell shares.
User can buy any number of shares of a player upto a maximum of 22 players in one match going on anywhere across the world. The App is therefore an amalgamation of features of Fantasy Sports League and Stock Market Trading. Plaintiffs have developed a detailed ‘concept note’ and an attractive ‘Graphical User Interface’ (GUI) with unique program structure and placement of information, which is easy to access with investment of labour and money and have also applied for a patent registration for the invention.
The court held that even in the fantasy sports online gaming applications’ regime, the game of cricket can only be played in a limited format and therefore, the Defendants cannot be held guilty for copyright infringement, save and except, if they had copied any original trait of Plaintiffs’ app.
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