IT DROPS INFRINGEMENT SUIT AGAINST GLOBAL VR
CHICAGO - "The lawsuit is over," Incredible Technologies' marketing director Gary Colabuono told VENDING TIMES today. IT's decision to withdraw its copyright lawsuit against Global VR followed in the wake of an unfavorable ruling on March 14, in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejected IT's appeal that again requested a preliminary injunction against Global VR. The suit was based on IT's charge that GVR's "PGA Tour" golf games infringe certain copyright and trade dress elements of IT's "Golden Tee Golf" videos. "The ruling is clear," Colobuono stated. "We are disappointed that the courts could not protect our copyrights and creativity, but we are moving on."
The lawsuit dates to Feb. 20, 2003, and involved claims and counterclaims by both sides. At press time, GVR had no official comment about the March 14 ruling. Judge Evans, writing for a unanimous three-judge panel, basically found that the elements IT wished to protect were more functional than creative and therefore did not fall under copyright law. Colabuono told VT that Incredible Technologies disagreed with that interpretation and "would file again in a minute," but has decided to focus instead on the launch of its new "Golden Tee Live," which is already seeing allocations of shipments to match supply with strong operator demand.
ASI RETURNS TO CHICAGO IN 2006
CHICAGO , Next year's Amusement Showcase International will return to Chicago, taking place once again at the Hyatt Regency downtown from March 16 through 18, 2006. Show organizers William T. Glasgow Inc. said this month's ASI was judged to be a hit by the people who count: exhibitors. Leaders at the American Amusement Machine Association reported "overwhelmingly" positive survey results with 50% of exhibitors rating aisle traffic as "good" to "excellent." Gordon Smart of Smart Industries declared ASI 2005 "the best show in years" based on quality and innovation; Gary Stern of Stern Pinball and others voiced similar enthusiasm.
AMERICAN VENDING SALES PURCHASES WORLD WIDE DISTRIBUTORS' ASSETS
CHICAGO , American Vending Sales this week executed an agreement to purchase the assets of Worldwide Distributors for an undisclosed amount effective March 14. AVS hired nearly all eligible WWD staff, and WWD assets are being transported to AVS headquarters. World Wide president Fred Skor first joined the industry in 1949; he and his wife Kitty are retiring. The genial Skor, whose 77th birthday is today, remains a vigorous tennis player; he says he now plans to work very hard at being a man of leisure. AVS founder and president Frank Gumma, Sr., saluted Skor for his long service, expressing gratitude that World Wide chose AVS to wind up its business. Gumma added that his team is "looking forward to being able to serve our customers even better for many years to come."
MERIT OFFERS INTEREST-FREE SOFTWARE DEAL, PROMOTION OUTSOURCING
BENSALEM, PA , Operators of network-connected MegaTouch touchscreen video games from Merit Industries will be able to purchase their software upgrade kits from Merit and pay for them over 12 months, with no interest, under the company's new Progressive Program, which launched at the recent ASI. In most areas, Merit-sponsored national prizes will be awarded to complement the operator's local player incentive prize programs. Depending on how many connected games an operator has, he can qualify for lower monthly MegaNET subscription fees and reduced Merit Direct software kit prices, as well as a reduced 5¢ per play tournament fee. Operators' total monthly base subscription costs are capped to ensure operator profits.
A second new program, Ultra, combines the Merit Direct software kit sales and Merit-sponsored prizes, with an option for Merit staff to handle all aspects of the operator's TournaMAXX promotion for a monthly base fee of $9.99 (a revenue guarantee is included whereby Merit will rebate the operator, on a route-wide basis, to ensure that the operator's portion of the TournaMAXX play covers the monthly base MegaNET subscription fee). In both the Progressive and Ultra programs, operators can still elect to purchase their software kits through their local Merit distributor and enjoy other Progressive and Ultra benefits. Operators wishing to remain with the current MegaNET offering can simply do so by selecting Merit's Classic program of network connectivity.
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