MSK’s Video Game practice is a premier multi-disciplinary practice focused on the specific needs of the games industry and with deep expertise in the industry. We represent many of the major video game publishers, as well as a number of independent and mobile developers. We are particularly known for intellectual property litigation; content protection and enforcement; providing ongoing advice and counsel on matters related to game development, production, and distribution; drafting and negotiating video game contracts, including licensing, development, and distribution agreements; and providing immigration assistance for game developers and e-sports athletes. We also represent the Entertainment Software Association and other trade associations in connection with governmental affairs and public policy issues.
- Representing one of the world’s first independent developer and distributor of video games in a high-profile trademark dispute in the Southern District of New York involving challenges to the realistic depictions of the military vehicle, HUMVEE, in "Call of Duty."
- Lead counsel in the successful representation of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. and Valve Corporation in a copyright infringement suit against uCool and Lilith involving many of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.’s high-profile video games such as World of Warcraft, Diablo III, and StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty.
- Successfully obtained $10 million monetary judgment as well as a permanent injunction on behalf of Riot Games Inc. against the makers of cheating software designed for Riot’s League of Legends video game.
- Currently defending a developer and publisher of video games in a contractual dispute concerning services rendered for a popular eSports world championship tour.
Representation of Take 2 Interactive and Rockstar Games in a trademark infringement lawsuit alleging the company’s game “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” infringes upon the marks of a Los Angeles business establishment.
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of Activision Blizzard against Axl Rose’s tort and contract claims concerning Guitar Hero III.
- Prevailed in an anti-SLAPP motion on behalf of Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games against right of publicity claim and claims of fraud and misappropriation of likeness regarding the lead character in their hugely popular video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
Obtained summary judgment in favor of Activision in trademark lawsuit involving the popular video game “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.”
Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. v. Ceiling Fan Software LLC, Case No. 12-0144 JVS (C.D. Cal. 2013). Obtained $7 million judgment on behalf of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. against the maker of a popular software “bot” that enabled users to cheat in the video game “World of Warcraft.”
Obtained summary judgment in favor of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. on copyright and right of publicity claims arising from a set of recordings used to voice a “World of Warcraft” character.
- Successfully defended Sony Pictures Entertainment, Amblin Entertainment, and writers of Men in Black 3 in a copyright infringement action based on the film Men in Black 3, obtaining dismissal with prejudice on the grounds that the works at issue were not substantially similar as a matter of law. Basile v. Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc., et al., Case 2:14-cv-04264-DMG (C.D. Cal. 2014).
- Business Wire , December 19, 2022
- PC Gamer , January 12, 2021
- Billboard, July 24, 2020
- May 29, 2019
- March 1, 2019
- January 1, 2019
- May 30, 2018
- October 2, 2017
- Karin Pagnanelli and Marc Mayer Named to Los Angeles Business Journal's 2017 "Most Influential Intellectual Property Attorneys" ListAugust 14, 2017
- July 7, 2017
- July 3, 2017
- May 17, 2017
- Karin Pagnanelli and Emily Evitt Named Among the Los Angeles Business Journal's Most Influential Women LawyersApril 24, 2017
- March 2, 2017
- February 6, 2017
- January 23, 2017
- November 2013
- November 1, 2012
- April 26, 2012
- Karin Pagnanelli Named One of the "Top 100 Women Lawyers" and "Top 75 Women Litigators in California" by Daily JournalMay 12, 2011
- May 1, 2008
- Wolters Kluwer; The Licensing Journal, May 2020, Volume 40, Number 5 (p. 20-21)
- Computer Games and Immersive Entertainment: Next Frontiers in Intellectual Property Law, Second EditionABA Book Publishing, December 13, 2018
- Games Law Summit Journal, Issue 1, April 27, 2017
- Digital Domino Effect: The Erosion of First Sale Protection for Video Games and the Implications for Ownership of Copies and Phonorecords, 42 SW L. REV. 4412013
- World Trademark Review, October 2010
Events & Speaking Engagements
- September 7-9, 2022
- September 16, 2021
- April 22, 2020
- February 15, 2020
- January 21, 2020
- December 9, 2019
- OCT 11-13, 2019
- Hosted by BANDAI NAMCO EntertainmentSeptember 13, 2019
- Beverly Hills Bar Association's IP, Internet & New Media Law SectionJuly 18, 2019
- Practising Law InstituteJuly 8, 2019
- May 2, 2019
- May 14, 2018
- May 3-4, 2018
- April 19, 2018
- May 15, 2017
- May 10, 2017
- April 27-28, 2017
- 2017 ABA Section of Litigation Corporate Counsel CLE SeminarFebruary 17, 2017
- May 16, 2016
- Building Convincing Virtual Words: Legal Issues In The Use Of Copyrights, Trademarks and Celebrity Likenesses In Video GamesGame Developers ConferenceMarch 17, 2014
- Minority Corporate Counsel AssociationMarch 3, 2014
- Beverly Hills Bar AssociationJanuary 2014
- ABA Forum on the Sports and Entertainment Industries Video Games and Digital Media ConferenceMarch 6, 2012
- Trademarks, Transformations, and Touchdowns: Recent Issues in Clearing Motion Picture, Television and Video Game ContentJanuary 20, 2011
- Video Game Content and Third Party IP: The Intersection of First Amendment, Copyright and TrademarksMay 22, 2010
- American Intellectual Property Law Association Spring MeetingMay 14, 2008