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Jury delivers Skillz a $42.9 million victory in AviaGames patent lawsuit

"We’re very pleased with the verdict. It’s a step in the right direction to promoting fairness in our industry," said Andrew Dahlinghaus, general counsel of Skillz
Jury delivers Skillz a $42.9 million victory in AviaGames patent lawsuit
  • Skillz went on to allege that AviaGames also developed a bot named a “shark robot," which targeted players who were winning too much to in order to prevent them from winning further
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A jury has granted game competition platform Skillz the win in a $42.9 million case against game developer AviaGames over a patent infringement lawsuit. The Jury's decision came after Skillz proved that AviaGames knowingly used its patent without permission.

According to VentureBeat, Skillz claimed that AviaGames, once an authorized developer for the Skillz platform, copied its patented platform and games from Big Run Studios to create its own skill-based gaming platform where players can bet real money for prizes in matches against other real players.

Andrew Dahlinghaus, general counsel of Skillz comments in a statement, “The jury awarded us $42.9 million and found willful infringement. We’re very pleased with the verdict. It’s a step in the right direction to promoting fairness in our industry."

Amongst its evidence, Skillz mentioned internal communications proving AviaGames' intention to “kill Skillz" with Project X, a rival platform for hosting skill-based game tournaments with real cash prizes. AviaGames introduced Pocket7Games, which started gaining market share from Skillz, leading to a drop in Skillz's stock value and the company managed to raise $40 million in 2020.

A Skillz attorney Lazar Raynal called it, “ a complete ripoff of Skillz."

Misleading players with bots

During the patent infringement investigation, Skillz claimed it discovered that AviaGames was misleading players who believed they were competing against other humans but were being matched against bots that were controlled by the company and designed to beat the human players betting real money.

Skillz went on to allege that AviaGames also developed a bot named a “shark robot," which targeted players who were winning too much to prevent them from winning further. AviaGames CEO Vickie Chen testified on TV that AviaGames did not use bots in multiplayer games involving real money bets by human players.

However, Skillz provided evidence from their investigation showing AviaGames' internal communications discussing the use of bots, referred to by code words “Cucumbers" and “Guides." Skillz also revealed that Mountain View, California's AviaGames, which secured $40 million in venture capital has misled players by matching them against unbeatable bots instead of real human opponents, accusing AviaGames of fraud and racketeering.