Ubisoft injunction against THQ struck down in Quebec appeals court

A Quebec appeals court has ruled in favor of THQ, striking down an injunction filed by Ubisoft that claimed THQ was poaching talent from the competition.

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Though the Superior Court of Quebec ordered THQ to stop poaching talent from Ubisoft in March 2011, an appeals court has sided with THQ. The ruling, which THQ celebrated in press release form, halts Ubisoft's injunction.

THQ's statement revealed that the Quebec Court of Appeal for the District of Montreal had "unanimously" ruled in its favor. The original injunction filed by Ubisoft sought to prohibit THQ from "soliciting Ubisoft employees who were to THQ's knowledge bound by a non-compete provision with Ubisoft."

In December 2009, THQ announced it would open a studio in Montreal with ex-Assassin's Creed lead Patrice Désilets at the helm. In January of the following year, THQ VP of Core Games Danny Bilson stated that THQ had hired a number of new employees Désilets deemed necessary to develop a "new IP" his studio would be working on.

"We put all of them on retention and got them started on their non-compete [clauses]. I kind of know what their roles are, but they were the most important people to Patrice. All three of them are Ubi," he told Joystiq. These hires were at the center of Ubisoft's injunction due to non-competition restrictions the company puts in employee contracts; however, the appeals court has ruled against the company.

According to the Quebec Court of Appeal, THQ "was not bound by any non-competition restrictions, and was therefore free to solicit any Ubisoft employee," so long as THQ's efforts "did not amount to unfair competition."

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  • reply
    December 16, 2011 5:45 PM

    Xav de Matos posted a new article, Ubisoft injunction against THQ struck down in Quebec appeals court.

    A Quebec appeals court has ruled in favor of THQ, striking down an injunction filed by Ubisoft that claimed THQ was poaching talent from the competition.

    • reply
      December 17, 2011 11:05 AM

      Non-competes are this crappy industry's way of keeping the talent from being happy, why dont they just make sure the talent WANTS to work there instead of essentially being forced? Ive never cared about non-compete clauses because nobody is going to keep me from being happy in my job or feeding my family, FU.

      • reply
        December 17, 2011 11:14 AM

        Maybe in Canada but not California.

        They can't stop you from making living.

        • reply
          December 17, 2011 12:13 PM

          Non-competes aren't part of contracts down there? Up here they are standard and of course everybody laughs at them. Its just easier to scare your talent into staying rather than oh, lets say managing the project properly. Its hard to manage a studio you know? staring into the empty eyes of your talent as you go home at 5pm and they stay all night to finish the last second changes you implemented after your 2 year old said the game wasn't colorful enough.

          • reply
            December 18, 2011 2:25 PM

            These guys who lead these projects get different kinds of contracts where more money is at stake.

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