Evony, LLC v. Philip Holland
United States District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
Case No. 2:2011cv00064, Filed On Januaru 18, 2011

Evony, LLC is a company that develops, publishes, and operates the game “Evony,” a massively multiplayer online real-time strategy game.  This game requires no subscription fee and instead, users can buy items for the game using real money.  To gain access to the game, users must register for an account that allows the Evony client game code, or game client, to be played online.  This game client should only work with Evony servers authorized by Evony’s system before the user can gain access to the game. Users must also agree to the Terms of Use that prohibits access to the servers by unauthorized game clients and prohibits reverse engineering of the game.  Evony claimed that the defendant operated a website (“www.xandiumstudios.net”) where he published an unauthorized copy of the “Evony” game.  According to the complaint, defendant allegedly operated an independent server, copied the game client, and published a version of the game titled “Evony Second Opinion.”  Evony brought suit against Holland alleging copyright infringement, infringement of trademark, infringement of trade dress, and breach of contract among other claims. Evony further asserted that the website operated by the defendants was “devoted to cheating, hacking, and publishing unauthorized copies of the Evony Game using the EVONY trademark and Trade Dress.”

Evony filed its verified complaint on January 21, 2011.  Holland failed to return and answer within 21 days after service of the summons.  On February 22, 2011, Evony filed a motion for default judgment.  The judge granted this motion on March 31, 2011 and awarded Evony $300,000 in statutory damages.  Whether Evony ever collects that money is another matter entirely…