After documents surfaced today confirming Epic and Silicon Knights will go to court over the latter’s claim it was fraudulently sold a license to an incomplete Unreal Engine 3, Epic has told VG247 it expects to be “fully vindicated at trial”.
According to an Epic representative, the federal court completed its ruling on the parties’ summary judgment motions to dismiss each other’s claims without a trial, acknowledging that it had to allow a jury to consider both sides’ evidence on the remaining claims.
“The court has entered judgment in favor of Epic on several claims, rejecting Silicon Knights’ claims that it could cancel its license agreement, that Epic interfered with its contractual relationships with publishers, and that Epic acted unjustly under the license,” said a representative for the developer.
A ruling wasn’t cast regarding the merits of Silicon Knights’ remaining claims, because the court wasn’t permitted to judge the credibility of witnesses or evidence, or otherwise take into account Epic’s opposing evidence, so under the rules of civil procedure the case will no be heard by a jury.
“The court has entered judgment in favor of Epic on several claims, rejecting Silicon Knights’ claims that it could cancel its license agreement, that Epic interfered with its contractual relationships with publishers, and that Epic acted unjustly under the license.”
“In addition, the court had previously rejected Silicon Knights’ motion to summarily dismiss Epic’s claims against it and upheld Epic’s right to present all of its claims to a jury, including claims that Silicon Knights breached its license agreement, stole Epic’s technology and infringed Epic’s copyrights,” said the representative, adding that Epic “remains confident that it will be fully vindicated at trial.”
In a statement given to Kotaku today, Silicon Knights boss Denis Dyack said: “Silicon Knights has always wanted to have our focus be on making great games, not litigation. This ruling will allow us to have our day in court, before a jury, and to shine the light publicly on Epic’s conduct. We are very confident the jury will see the truth behind Epic’s actions.”
Earlier today, it was reported that the federal courts had ruled that Silicon Knights could pursue its case against Epic over Unreal Engine 3 licensing. The original complaint, which was filed back in 2007 before the release of Too Human in 2008, claimed Epic “defrauded” the developer by claiming the source code for UE3 was more complete than originally stated.
In it’s original court filings, Silicon Knights claimed the Gears developer defrauded “a major portion” of the games industry by withholding the complete version of the engine and focusing more on it’s own games instead of Unreal’s development tools.
No date has been reported for the start of the trial as yet.