Here We Go Again: DraftKings, FanDuel Face Another Lawsuit
Since early-October, federal lawsuits have piled atop of daily fantasy sports (DFS) industry leaders DraftKings, Inc. and FanDuel, Inc. In total, there are now over 25 federal actions filed against the two companies. Most of the cases stem from allegations claiming the pair engaged in illegal gambling, unfair business practices, and insider trading. On November 2, 2015, however, a patent infringement case was filed in Texas against both DraftKings and FanDuel, in addition to Fox Sports.
The plaintiff in the patent cases is Virtual Gaming Technologies LLC (VGT). On Wednesday November 4, 2015, VGT filed additional federal patent infringement suits in Texas against Draftpot, DraftDay, and ESPN Internet Ventures (the producer of ESPN.com), which all operate fantasy sports platforms.
Collectively, the lawsuits claim that the defendants infringed upon patents developed by William W. Junkin in the late 1990s—specifically, U.S. Patent Nos. 5,860,862 and 6,193,610. The patents describe the system Junkin developed as a platform which displays real-time data to the fantasy sports user. Altogether, the complaints allege that the defendants made or sold, or continue to make or sell, the patented interactive system within their DFS operations and without compensating the plaintiff.