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6waves Lolapps chief denies violating NDA in copyright dispute with Spry Fox (exclusive)

Rex Ng, chief executive of 6waves Lolapps, denied allegations that his company violated a non-disclosure agreement in a case related to allegations of copying Spry Fox’s social game on Facebook.

Spry Fox, a small game developer in Seattle, said last Sunday it filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against 6waves Lolapps because 6waves’ Yeti Town mobile game copied the gameplay and look of its Triple Town Facebook game. The issue of copycat games has raised considerable discussion in the industry, including commentary from Zynga CEO Mark Pincus.

Included in the allegations: Spry Fox said that it had a non-disclosure agreement with 6waves Lolapps (also known as 6L).

“While it’s not included in the lawsuit, the authors suggest that our business development team shared information with our game development team about Spry Fox’s title,” Ng said. “I want to be very clear: this accusation is unjustified and plainly not true. We have not broken the NDA signed between 6L and Spry Fox.”

Ng noted that Triple Town was publicly available on the Amazon Kindle platform in October 2010. Yeti Town, which launched in December 2011, was developed “in isolation from 6L by a company we acquired in January 2012- a month after the game had launched,” Ng said.

6waves Lolapps was referring to its acquisition of Escalation. He noted that  6L was formed as a result of the merger between 6waves and Lolapps and continues to maintain two distinct teams: publishing and development.

“Our business development team is focused on growing, and promoting the developer ecosystem, which includes more than 50 independent developers we have partnered with,” Ng said.  “Our business is based on trust, which we earn and maintain by keeping the highest level of confidentiality.”

In response, David Edery of Spry Fox referred us to the company’s earlier blog post. In the actual lawsuit, Spry Fox included an email sent by Dan Laughlin, the executive director of business development at 6waves Lolapps. In that email, Laughlin said, “David, I have some news, of which I’m not excited to share with you. I need to back out of any further discussions on Triple Town. We’ve just published a game on iOS that you’re not going to like given its similar match-3 style. Wish this wasn’t happening, but it is, and there wasn’t anything I could do about it, despite my attempts.”

A copy of a signed NDA is included in the lawsuit.


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