Breach of Contract: Ubisoft sues Black Eyed Peas

Ubisoft has taken the Black Eyed Peas to court, filing a $1 million lawsuit against BEP Music LLC, claiming the company refused to acknowledge an iOS game created following the success of last year’s The Black Eyed Peas Experience.

The claim is that the two companies entered into a license agreement in June 2011, which gave Ubisoft “the exclusive, worldwide right to use, among other things, the names and likenesses of a music group and its members … to develop, produce, and distribute a video game … on all existing and future handheld and home consoles and iOS platforms, including the iPhone and iPad.”

The first of these games, The Black Eyed Peas Experience for Wii and Kinect, was released in late 2011, after obtaining BEP Music’s requisite approval. In the almost 12 months that have followed, Ubisoft explains the game “is currently still being distributed pursuant to the contract and has thus far been successful”.

In March of this year, Ubisoft designed a follow-up game based on the band’s music for iPhone and iPad, and submitted it to BEP music for its written approval, as outlined in the contract. (BEP Music retains the right to accept or reject any video game proposals, but that it had to do so within ten business days.)

…BEP Music never responded to Ubisoft‘s request for approval – not within ten business days, and not in the months that followed, despite repeated requests from the publisher, both orally and in writing.

[img_big]center,8186,2012-10-16/BEPExp360_I_Gotta_Feeling_Tokyo_Venue.jpg,Black Eyed Peas: The Experience[/img_big]

Ubisoft is now accusing BEP Music of breach of contract by “failing and refusing to either approve or disapprove the IOS game in writing or otherwise” – and claims that at the time of the breach, it had spent 181,000 Euros (approximately $233,000) in developing the iOS version of the game.

As a direct and proximate result of BEP Music’s breach of contract, Ubisoft has suffered damages in an amount in excess of $1,000,000, which not only includes Ubisoft’s out-of-pocket development costs, but also the profits Ubisoft has lost and will continue to lose as a result of BEP Music’s breach of contract.

The court documents do not mention the name of the music group or the game in question, however BEP Music LLC only owns one trademark, The Black Eyed Peas Experience was released in late 2011 for Wii, and “The Black Eyed Peas Experience for iPad and iPhone” appears on an Ubisoft financial report with an anticipated release date of April-June 2012.

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