It was reported that, on May 9 Riot Games Inc, the maker of the popular computer game "League of Legends," sued ByteDance unit Shanghai Moonton Technology Co Ltd in Los Angeles federal court for what it called "blatant copying" of the game's mobile version.
Riot Games Inc, founded in 2006, is an American online game developer and publisher. By far, its first game, League of Legends (known as LOL), enjoys a connected players’ number of more than 27 million. And in December of 2015, Tencent gained 100% ownership of Riot Games.
Moonton Technology is a game development and distribution company in China who has developed many of the world's most popular mobile games, including Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Mobile Legends: Adventure. And it was purchased by ByteDance (now named as Douyin Group) in 2021 and became its subsidiary consequently.
Riot Games has filed a lawsuit against Moonton, alleging that its mobile phone game Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (hereinafter referred to as Bang Bang) has imitated parts of LOL, or commonly referred to as plagiarism. In the complaint, Riot has listed several similarities in the campaign, trailer, and skins in-game. Generally speaking, according to Riot’s accusation, Moonton has plagiarized its game Wild Rift (the mobile version of the PC game LOL) from several perspectives.
Besides, Riot also complained to Google to remove Bang Bang from the Play Store, and after the removal of the suspected infringing game, according to the complaint MOONTON was found to have secretly launched a minimized version.
It’s not the first time for Moonton and Riot to mutually-confront in the court. Early in 2018, Riot had filed a lawsuit against Moonton, accusing it of copying parts of the game LOL. However, the case was dismissed due to the jurisdiction--as the judge held that it would be more appropriate for Chinese courts to handle the verdict. Later, as Tencent, the wholly owned parent company of Riot, subsequently intervened in the case, an award of $2.9 million was given as damages as the court ruled that Moonton was involved in "non-disclosure" and "non-compete" clauses’ violation. Yet another lawsuit about the copyright dispute was again filed in Shenzhen, but there’s been no conclusion till now. That is to say, there is no official ruling of whether the game Bang Bang constitutes copyright infringement or not.
For the recently filed lawsuit, Moonton did not immediately respond to the request for comment.