Advocate Denis Aleinikov defends Blitz Team in dispute with Wargaming

Denis Aleinikov, senior partner and advocate at Aleinikov & Partners, took the lead on legal defence of Blitz Team in a dispute with Wargaming, publisher and developer of the world-famous game World of Tanks. Five lawsuits have been brought to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus against Blitz Team employees (former employees of Wargaming’s Minsk office) being sued for US$1.69 million altogether for violating Wargaming's exclusive rights while working on the Open Source project.

About Blitz Team (Press Fire Games)

The subject matter

According to Wargaming, Blitz Team employees violated his exclusive rights to the World of Tanks Blitz game’s engine (DAVA Framework/DAVA Engine), inter alia, as a result of:

  • posting DAVA Framework source code on the GitHub during the period of work for Wargaming;
  • creating forks (branches) of this source code to personal accounts on the GitHub.
More on the Wargaming position

Meanwhile, Blitz Team indicated the following: Wargaming has repeatedly stated that DAVA Framework/DAVA Engine has been freely accessible under Open-Source BSD3 License. Yet, from 2014 to 2018 it has continued to be developed on the basis of Game Stream JLLC and posted under Open Source License, which the Wargaming responsible persons were aware of.

More on the Blitz Team position

Later developments

Wargaming applied to the court in Cyprus

Upon the application of Wargaming, the District Court of Nicosia granted an Interim Order on prohibiting Blitz Team, anywhere within the EU territory from the use of trademarks, corporate name, online name and any other signs with the word "Blitz".

Denis Aleinikov noted that the Order had been granted without notification of Blitz Team and in the absence of a Blitz Team representative in Cyprus, which prevented Blitz Team to present to the Court its opinion on the case.

Wargaming applied to the court in the USA

Following the lawsuit brought in the Cyprus court, Wargaming initiated a legal proceeding in the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

Wargaming has alleged that there is "trademark infringement in breach of federal laws of the USA, unfair competition and trademark infringement in breach of common law, as well as unfair competition in breach of the California Business and Professional Code". Furthermore, Wargaming has sought to cancel Blitz Team’s trademark applications.