Capcom Wins Dead Rising Trademark Lawsuit

By Blake Ellison, Nov 19, 2008 11:48am PST Capcom has won a lawsuit over film production company MKR Group, who alleged that Capcom stole from MKR's Dawn of the Dead (1978) to make Dead Rising (360), the well-received zombie-massacre action game.

United States Magistrate Judge Richard Seeborg granted Capcom's motion seeking relief from a lawsuit after MKR threatened to sue. "The few similarities MKR has alleged are driven by the wholly unprotectable concept of humans battling zombies in a mall during a zombie outbreak," claimed Capcom in the motion.

Capcom's legal victory was not a pretty one. "Dozens of zombie movies and games" introduced in court by Capcom--intended to establish the conventions of the zombie genre--were thrown out because Capcom included summaries borrowed from Wikipedia, reports GameSpot.

United States Magistrate Judge Richard Seeborg also found some critical differences between the video game and the movie--namely, that the game lacked part of the message of the film. "The social commentary MKR draws from Dawn of the Dead ... appears totally absent from the combat focus found in Dead Rising," wrote the judge.

The dispute between Capcom and MKR started long before the game was released. Capcom even put a label on the Dead Rising box denying any relationship to the film. The tensions came to a head in February 2008, when MKR notified Capcom, Microsoft, and Best Buy of its intent to file a claim for the game's development, marketing and distribution.

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