US court of appeals upholds ruling in favor of Epic Games in lawsuit against Silicon Knights

too human screenshotSilicon Knights long time lawsuit against Epic Games was struck down in May of 2012, and the court ruled in favor of Epic Game’s counter-suit against Silicon Knights.  The Ontario based studio was then told to pay Epic Games over $4 million in damages, but Silicon Knights filed an appeal.  The US court of appeals found in favor of Epic Games earlier this week, according to court documents.  Silicon Knights now owes Epic Games over 9.2 million, with 4.5 coming from the lawsuit itself, and the remaining amount coming from Epic’s legal fees.  The company was also ordered to recall and destroy any unsold copies of games that used the Unreal Engine, like Too Human and X-men Destiny.

Silicon Knights’ attorney’s primary argument in this appeal was that the courts ruled incorrectly when they found in favor of Epic Games, saying it abused it’s discretion.  Suffice to say, the court of appeals didn’t feel that way.  Where Silicon Knights claimed that Epic was trying to receive double the amount it was owed, the courts found that they only sought the profits Silicon Knights earned using the code (read: They used the Unreal Engine without proper authorization).

When asked about the Court of Appeals an Epic Games representative told Polygon “We are thankful for the time and efforts of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on this case.”  Silicon Knights was unable to be reached for comment, but we will update our story when we hear back from the company.

If Epic will ever receive this money is an entirely different story.  Silicon Knights is reportedly a shell of it’s former self.  Only a few employees reportedly remain at the studio, and many of those employees went to work at Precursor Games, including Silicon Knights founder Dennis Dyack.  Precursor claims to have no connection to Silicon Knights, but it did say it purchased many assets from the studio, including game assets, computers, and desks.   In September, that company then disbanded after two failed Kickstarter campaigns.

by, Bobby Marquardt

Sources: Polygon, Joystiq, CVG, US Court of Appeals, and Eurogamer

Image Credit: OXGCN 

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