Tencent to stand trial in latest Mobile Legends legal battle

A court date set for Tuesday will see Tencent face allegations of copyright infringement in China, filed by Shanghai-based studio Moonton Technology.

As reported by South China Morning Post, Tencent is accused of infringing on the rights of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, one of the biggest mobile titles in Southeast Asia. The alleged violations include rights to authorship, reproduction and communications regarding the game.

It’s the latest in a string of lawsuits involving Moonton, Tencent, and its subsidiary Riot Games, several of which followed ByteDance’s $4 billion acquisition of Moonton in 2021.

Tencent was also in the running to acquire Moonton, but was ultimately outbid by rival ByteDance in what is currently China’s largest gaming deal yet.

In October, Chinese site Yicai reported that Moonton won a separate commercial defamation lawsuit against Tencent, with the latter ordered to pay around $30,000 for “economic losses and reasonable expenses.”

Earlier this month, a lawsuit filed by Riot Games’ against Moonton Technology was dismissed by a US court. In the suit, Riot accused Mobile Legends: Bang Bang of copying its own flagship, League of Legends.

The move was a repeat of a similar motion from 2017, which saw Riot challenge Moonton for “willful and bad faith infringement” of its IP. The case was also dismissed and deemed to be “better heard” in China.

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