10 Most Absurd Lawsuits In Video Game History

4. Universal Studios Vs. Nintendo

Lindsay Lohan Rockstar

The case: Nintendo may be a household name the world over today, but in 1982? Not so much. Following the successful launch of its now-legendary Donkey Kong in arcades, Universal, keen to get in on the explosive popularity of video games itself, began sending cease-and-desist notices to the Big N and its licensees.

Universal claimed that Ninty's oversized ape and the game's features amounted to copyright infringement on King Kong, stipulating that failure to either remove the game from sale or purchasing a license from it would result in the film studio suing the pants off this small Japanese company. Refusing to back down, Nintendo faced Universal head on and thus, a court date was booked.

The outcome: In short, the total humiliation of Universal. Not only did the court rule in Nintendo's favour - that at best, Donkey Kong could be considered a parody of King Kong - but Nintendo's representative in court pointed out that Universal didn't even hold the rights to the latter, leaving it with no legal leg to stand on.

As a further insult to injury, Nintendo was given the right to seek damages from Universal due to its cease-and-desist nonsense. Chalk this one up as a victory for the (former) underdog.

In this post: 
Posted On: 

Joe is a freelance games journalist who, while not spending every waking minute selling himself to websites around the world, spends his free time writing. Most of it makes no sense, but when it does, he treats each article as if it were his Magnum Opus - with varying results.