CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Sept. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — After the U.S. District Court in Tulsa, Oklahoma dismissed 19 of Video Gaming Technologies’ (VGT) 20 registered trademark claims against Castle Hill Gaming (Castle Hill), Castle Hill settled VGT’s remaining claims with money from its insurance policy and a few insignificant changes to some of its Class II games. VGT spent millions of dollars more on attorneys’ fees litigating the dispute than it will receive from Castle Hill’s insurance company. The victory comes after more than two years of proceedings.
Castle Hill is a privately-held startup that placed its first Class II electronic gaming machine into casinos in the Fall of 2015. Castle Hill is growing rapidly with its popular games; a recent report places six Castle Hill mechanical reel games in the top 25 of all such new games.
VGT was privately owned until it was purchased by Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ALL.AX), an Australian company, in 2014. Aristocrat has an annualized revenue over AUD$4 billion and annualized profits over AUD$600 million. A report by Eliers & Krejcik Gaming shows that in Oklahoma, where both Aristocrat and Castle Hill compete, Aristocrat has 47% market share for all leased games. Castle Hill does not yet have enough market share to even appear in the report.
VGT’s lawsuit claimed that Castle Hill games infringed on 20 of VGT’s registered trademarks. In the decision, the court dismissed 19 of the 20 registered trademark claims on summary judgment. For trade secrets, VGT initially claimed that Castle Hill copied its software source code. After discovery disproved that allegation, VGT abandoned it and made claims based on certain algorithms and “negative know how.” None of the trade secret claims were part of the settlement.
Castle Hill Gaming’s CEO, Arthur Watson, stated: “We are thrilled with this David versus Goliath outcome. I believe that VGT and its parent company, Aristocrat, wanted to put us out of business because they saw us as a competitive threat. Our games are performing at par with their games in many of the casinos in which we compete. But we have survived, thrived, and are entering new markets like Historical Horse Racing.”
Castle Hill Gaming was represented by ZobLaw and its partners, Duane Zobrist and Jonathan Jacobs, Saul Ewings’ Bob Gill and Henry Platt, and Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis’s Thomas Connolly. Aristocrat’s subsidiary VGT was represented by one of the largest law firms in the country, Covington and Burling.
About Castle Hill Gaming
Castle Hill Gaming provides quality gaming solutions to Native American Tribal Casinos across the United States. Castle Hill Gaming has also created its own Historical Horse Racing machines, approved for Virginia. Its Class II, Class III, and Historical Horse Racing (HHR) games are built for the player, designed to be familiar and delightful. Through hard work and focused energies Castle Hill Gaming is quickly emerging as an industry leader in Class II, Class III, HHR gaming. Castle Hill has a dynamic team of experienced and talented game designers, developers, and mathematicians to create the most entertaining slot games in the market, and its growing portfolio provides the richest player experience in the Casino. Castle Hill combines 2D and 3D animated media with great game play and math to create immersive titles with familiar themes that are both beautiful and fun to play. Castle Hill’s winning play and generous bonuses keep players coming back again and again.
SOURCE Castle Hill Gaming