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Aristocrat agrees $3m settlement with Castle Hill Gaming

Video Gaming Technologies (VGT), a subsidiary of Aristocrat Technologies, has reached a settlement worth $3m (€2.7m) with Class II and III games developer Castle Hill Gaming (CHG) over an intellectual property rights infringement lawsuit.

The case was filed in 2017 and concerned alleged infringements of certain VGT trademarks, trade dress and trade secrets.

Under the terms of the settlement, CHG will no longer use the game titles ‘New Money’, ‘Arctic Cash’, ‘Arctic Ice’ and ‘Welcome to Nugget Mountain’, along with any associated artwork and characters, and any variations of these games. CHG has also agreed to make a payment to VGT of $3 million.

CHG, which supplies land-based gaming content to US tribal operators, will also remove and no longer use certain machine features and paytables. CHG has until April 1, 2020, to ensure that all settlement criteria have been met.

“This settlement again confirms VGT’s and Aristocrat’s determination to protect our intellectual property, including VGT’s market-leading Class II portfolio. We will continue to be proactive and aggressive in defending our assets going forward,” stated Aristocrat Technologies President Hector Fernandez.

The company still has pending litigation against rival Ainsworth related to alleged intellectual property theft.

“We are thrilled with this David versus Goliath outcome. I believe that VGT and its parent company, Aristocrat, wanted to put us out of business because they saw us as a competitive threat. Our games are performing at par with their games in many of the casinos in which we compete. But we have survived, thrived, and are entering new markets like Historical Horse Racing,” announced Arthur Watson, CEO of Castle Hill Gaming.

Castle Hill is a privately-held startup that placed its first Class II electronic gaming machine into casinos in 2015. According to its officials, VGT spent “millions of dollars more on attorneys fees litigating the dispute than it will receive from Castle Hill’s insurance company.”

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