A Legal Expert Says ‘PUBG’ Will Probably Lose Its Suit Against ‘Fortnite’

Earlier this week, the studio behind popular battle royale game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds filed a lawsuit against the even more popular battle royale game Fortnite for copyright infringement. Basically, PUBG Corp has stated that Epic Games copied the item and UI interface concepts from PUBG.

Speaking with Wired, intellectual property law expert and lecturer at the University of Stirling, Kim Barker, says the outcome doesn’t look very good for PUBG Corp. “The basic notion is that copyright does not protect ideas,” she said.

“Anybody can have the same idea, and two games can express it in exactly the same way which is on the surface, exactly what has happened with the two games in question. It’s difficult to imagine that there is actually a case to answer.”

Barker’s outlook mirrors almost the entire gaming community’s, which is full of people wondering why other game makers – like those behind popular FPS titles – haven’t already done what PUBG Corp is attempting to do. The answer is quite obviously; they can’t.

Barker goes on to explain the issue using photography as an example. “Three people can stand in the same place and take a photo of the same scene in front of them, but they’d all have a slightly different variation of the same thing,” she told Wired. “They would all potentially have copyright in their different expressions, but nobody could claim the idea.” 

If your a fan of either or both games, I wouldn’t worry about the outcome of this at all. It’s extremely likely that both titles will continue to plod on as they have been for the past year or so. The only thing different in this case is that the filing is in Korea, a country that is “a little more active when it comes to dealing with issues like infringement and lawsuits in games,” Barker says.

Either way, it’s going to be an interesting one to watch, that’s for sure.