Gaming giant Aristocrat Technologies told a court Wednesday that confidential material used by a designer to steal its poker machine idea may yet find its way into the launch version of its rival’s machine, despite assurances to the contrary.
A barrister for Aristocrat, J M Hennessy, told the Federal Court that Ainsworth Game Technology had yet to investigate and quarantine a “controversial” employee, Sujay Prabhu, who is suspected of taking information on Aristocrat’s slot machine over to its competitor.
Ainsworth’s barrister Chris Burgess, denied the claim, saying a “reasonable search” had failed to uncover any documents allegedly copied or transferred from Aristocrat.
Aristocrat has accused Ainsworth of copyright infringement, breaching confidential information, and contravening the Australian Consumer Law.
In a case management hearing last week, the court heard Prabhu, who worked for Ainsworth, got a job with Aristocrat but was terminated three week’s later and returned to his role at Ainsworth.
Aristocrat claims Prabhu took confidential information on its Lightning Links slot machine during his three-week employment and used the material in the development of Ainsworth’s competing Jackpot Strike.
In two voluntary undertakings, Ainsworth promised Aristocrat that the launch version of Jackpot Strike would be different from those previously demonstrated, and that Prabhu would not work on the final product.
“Those undertakings take the sting out of any commercial concerns Aristocrat may have,” Burgess said Wednesday.
The parties are also battling over discovery in the case, with Aristocrat pushing back on Ainsworth’s request for access to documents for both Prabhu and its general counsel David Greenslade.
In court Wednesday, Judge Yates referred to the dispute as “World War Three”.
Aristocrat has granted access to 97% of the requested documents, the court heard, but Ainsworth claims that without the withheld remainder the company cannot file instructions or give evidence.
The additional documents are needed so that Nigel Carson — a computer forensic expert from KordaMentha, retained by Ainsworth — can complete his evidence, Burgess said.
Judge Yates set a date of June 12 for an interlocutory hearing over the documents.
Spruson & Ferguson Lawyers is representing Ainsworth. Gilbert + Tobin is representing Aristocrat.
Hennessy is from Tenth Floor Chambers, while Burgess is from Nigel Bowen Chambers.
Latest posts by Miklos Bolza (see all)
- Judge stays Hyundai case over $7.9M arbitration award - July 16, 2018
- Western Power’s negligence caused Parkerville bushfire, court hears - July 16, 2018
- Stalemate broken over docs from AFP raid of mining magnate Tony Sage - July 16, 2018