Editorial: SEGA sues Level-5 over patent violations

The internet has gone into a tizzy over the news that SEGA has taken game company Level-5 to court, claiming Level-5 has infringed on two patents held by SEGA. SEGA claims that the Level-5 developed Inazuma Eleven games infringe on a patented mechanic which allows players to move characters with their fingers or a stylus. The lawsuit, if won, could prohibit sales of all eight Inazuma games on the DS, Wii, and 3DS, as well as win SEGA 900 million yen (roughly $11 million). Internet sites from Joystiq to Kotaku are reporting on the story, though in my opinion they are jumping the gun when it comes to the details of the lawsuit. For starters, following the news, Level-5 responded by stating that the first Inazuma Eleven game was released in 2008, while Sega didn’t file its first patent until 2009. Level-5 also claims that the second followed in 2011. “As a result of examining these discrepancies,” Level-5 stated, “we’ve concluded that there is no patent violation.”