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Wizards sues Cryptozoic, Hex Entertainment for allegedly infringing upon Magic

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Wizards of the Coast filed a suit against Cryptozoic Entertainment and Hex Entertainment alleging that the companies are infringing upon its Magic: The Gathering intellectual property with massively-multiplayer online trading card game, Hex: Shards of Fate.

The suit includes claims for copyright, patent and trade dress infringement. According to a complaint filed in a U.S. District Court in the Western District of Washington, Wizards alleges that Cryptozoic "copied the overall plot, elements, theme, mood, setting, pace, creatures and sequence" of Magic: The Gathering — and its digital forms Magic Online and the Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers franchise — as well as the "cards, plot elements, circumstances, play sequence and flow."

"Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast vigorously protect our intellectual property. This infringement suit against Cryptozoic demonstrates that while we appreciate a robust and thriving trading card game industry, we will not permit the misappropriation of our intellectual property," Barbara Finigan, senior vice president and general counsel of Hasbro, said in a prepared statement. "We attempted to resolve this issue, but Cryptozoic was unwilling to settle the matter."

Wizards contacted Cryptozoic in March 2014 and informed them of Wizards' rights in the Magic game, according to the complaint, and offered multiple opportunities to "resolve the matter short of a formal assertion." The company is seeking to recover the gains, profits and advantages that Wizards alleges that Cryptozoic has obtained as a result of the violation of the patent act, which Wizards believes is an amount exceeding $500,000.

Cryptozoic Entertainment, the publisher behind tabletop games like the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game, launched a successful Kickstarter campaign for Hex: Shards of Fate in May 2013, raising more than $2.2 million. To learn more about the game, read Polygon's interview with studio president and CCO Cory Jones.

We reached out to Cryptozoic Entertainment for comment.