ESPN Patent Infringement Suit Dropped with Prejudice
On Tuesday, January 26, 2016, sports TV giant ESPN and Suicide Fantasy Sports LLC agreed to end their lawsuit in California federal court over alleged patent violations. Originally filed in June 2015, Suicide’s complaint claimed that one of ESPN’s fantasy sport games, the popular “Gridiron Challenge,” infringed on a 2013 patent issued to the company. Specifically, Suicide alleged that ESPN’s feature of eliminating a fantasy player on a per week basis if already drafted by the user previously throughout the season was a novel concept invented by Suicide and protected under its federally granted patent.
The two sides entered into mediation during the latter half of 2015 after ESPN had filed a motion to dismiss the suit in August. The mediation between the two sides led to the dismissal notice earlier this week. Reportedly, ESPN stopped using the elimination feature prior to the beginning of the 2015 NFL season — a move which helped bring about the dismissal, as Suicide was seeking a court injunction to block ESPN’s use of that particular element to their fantasy games.
The lawsuit was just one of a number of disputes ESPN and other host websites were slaughtered with regarding fantasy sports over the last year.