Video Game Law Blog

September 16, 2005

There are reports that Glud and Marstrand, a Scandinavian packaging company, has sued Microsoft for breaching non-disclosure agreements and misappropriating confidential information.

G&M claims it developed technology for metal DVD/CD containers that are designed to open and lay flat like a book. G&M and Microsoft entered into discussions about video game packaging; after getting its NDA signed, G&M says that it provided confidential information concerning the packaging to Microsoft.

Microsoft eventually issued a request for proposal for a metal case for Halo 2, and then rejected G&M's proposal and went with different firm (Viva). G&M now claims that Microsoft passed on confidential information to Viva, that the Halo 2 case made by Viva for Microsoft uses G&M's proprietary technology, and that Viva has filed patent applications based on that technology.

Protecting confidential information while exploring business opportunities is always tricky, as it is difficult to generate business relationships without giving the other party a look at your technology. If your technology has not yet been patented (either because you haven't gotten that far, or because it may not be patentable), using techniques such as non-disclosure agreements is crucial. However, you have to be willing to act decisively, as G&M appears to have done, if you suspect that your NDA has been breached and that an unauthorized party is using your technology.  Time will tell whether there is merit to G&M's claims.

Coverage at http://shorl.com/bitranefraprimy