Australia’s two leading manufacturers of gaming machines, Aristocrat Leisure (ASX: ALL) and Ainsworth Game Technology (ASX: AGI) are headed for a hard-fought patent battle in the federal court.
Ainsworth announced it would be vigorously defending action by Aristocrat that alleges it infringed the comppany’s patent rights and Australian Consumer Law.
Aristocrat maintains Ainsworth stole technology used in its popular Lightning Link machine, and utilised it in its own Jackpot Strike machine.
The company has sought to force Ainsworth to hand over source code, mathematical tables, game rules, artwork and documents relating to its design.
With Aristocrat stating it would “always aggressively defend our assets, including our IP”, the stage is set for a bitter dispute.
This is especially so as Len Ainsworth founded Aristocrat, now the world’s second-largest gaming company in 1953.
After stepping aside following a health scare, he later founded Ainsworth which has gone head to head with his former company in international gaming markets.
Aristocrat has said: “This case goes well beyond simple copyright infringement and concerns allegations of extensive and deliberate misappropriation of trade secrets, confidential information and intellectual property.”
In its latest half year to the end of March Aristocrat reported EBITDA of $766 million on turnover up 20 per cent to $2.1 billion.
Ainsworth announced profit after tax of $12.1 million on revenue of $118 million for the half year to December 31, 2018.
Picture: Aristocrat Leisure
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