Australian feud has broken out again between two big household names of igaming industry as Aristocrat casino provider is suing Ainsworth in terms of infringement of its intellectual property rights. Their long-term rivalry has been on since 2016 when the executive Sujay Prabhu ‘jumped’ from Ainsworth to Aristocrat just for three weeks and returned back to Ainsworth, to take the leading position of game design. Aristocrat believes that his project, Jackpot Strike slot machine was based on Lightning Link, Aristocrat’s major slot hit which has ‘conquered the North American casinos.
The accusation was at the time that Prabhu committed theft as he had inserted a USB stick into Aristocrat servers and searched files that had nothing to do with the project he was assigned, in order to steal Lightning Link’s source code. Later on, Prabhu had claimed that the much-discussed USB stick was no longer at his possession as he lost it when he moved house.
The case takes a twisted turn considering that it was Ainsworth which was concerned first about “wilful misappropriation” of its own copyrights as well as critical insider info distribution. Despite these accusations, Prabhu returned at Ainsworth as if nothing had happened after spending just three weeks with Aristocrat.
Two years later Aristocrat addressed the issue again and this time took the case to the court. In fact, Aristocrat demanded access to files regarding Jackpot Stike’s development by Ainsworth, most importantly the game’s source code. Ainsworth answered that such an investigation wouldn’t give any results.
Aristocrat will appeal to Australia’s Federal Court to resolve the case. According to Aristocrat, rival Ainsworth hasn’t only breached copyright laws but it is a clear case of corporate espionage that led to technology expropriation, a technology that Aristocrat introduced in Lightning Link and it was used by Ainsworth in Jackpot Strike as well. Aristocrat also claims that by these acts Ainsworth has broken Australian Consumer Law. On the other hand, Ainsworth doesn’t accept any of these claims and intends to deny these allegations.