By Anthony Dreyer, Jordan Feirman and James Pak, of Skadden Arps
On January 20, 2022, Riot Games, developer of the popular League of Legends (LoL) and related games, filed suit against a Vietnamese mobile game developer alleging that the developer’s recent game, I Am Hero: AFK Tactical Teamfight, infringes Riot’s copyrights.
Specifically, Riot alleges that I Am Hero contains a number of playable “hero” characters that blatantly rip off the names, designs, backstories and abilities of LoL’s playable “champion” characters.
In the complaint, Riot notes that certain heroes have the same or nearly identical name as the counterpart champions, look nearly identical to the champions and have their backstories taken verbatim from the champion backstories included in LoL.
Riot further alleges that the name of the Vietnamese developer’s U.S. subsidiary (Imba) is a direct reference to LoL jargon (referring to an “imbalanced” or overpowered champion) and that Imba hosts its own LoL tournament among its employees.
Riot is seeking actual or statutory damages, along with attorneys’ fees, costs and an injunction.
(Riot Games, Inc. v. Suga PTE, Ltd., No. 2:22-cv-00429 (C.D. Cal. Jan. 20, 2022))