Online gambling and entertainment company Bodog has secured its first favorable result in the well-publicized patent infringement suit brought by California patent holder Dr. Scott Lewis.
Nevada District Court Chief Judge Roger L. Hunt on Thursday denied plaintiff Lewis' motion for permanent injunction against Bodog, which would have prevented Bodog from doing business in the United States, on grounds that it was flawed.
According to court documents, the motion "failed to satisfy the requirements for permanent injunctive relief, and . . . would not pass the four-prong test that would satisfy the burden to obtain a permanent injunction."
The dispute between Bodog and 1st Technology began in September 2006, when Lewis, CEO of 1st Technology, filed a motion for permanent injunction against Bodog.com, Bodog Entertainment Group, S.A., Bodog.net and Bodog.com (Bodog).
Lewis argued that Bodog was illegally using a "method and system for interactively transmitting multimedia information over a network which requires a reduced bandwidth," which he invented and patented in 1996.
As a result of the ongoing lawsuit, Bodog in August lost ownership of its domain names and was ordered by a Seattle judge to pay Lewis $49 million in injunctive relief.
Lewis has a history of suing online gambling companies on identical grounds; this was the first case in which he was awarded any relief.
Bodog's attorneys vowed to fight the injunction and at Thursday's hearing found a way to prove that at least some of Lewis' claims could not be upheld.
At their first court appearance in this case, the Bodog legal team demonstrated, by way of testimony from the company's former accountant, Mario Jorge Salas Chavez, that the corporate entity Bodog Entertainment Group, S.A., named as the defendant in the lawsuit, had no control over any of the company's gaming assets in September 2006. Furthermore, the entity was closed operationally over a year ago, according to the lawyers and court documents. Thus, Hunt dismissed the motion for permanent injunction.
Hunt did however uphold Lewis' motion for default judgment, which means that Bodog is still liable for the $49 million, and remains without control of its former domain names. He also stipulated that while his court did not find Lewis' arguments adequate for permanent injunction, his findings do not preclude Washington State Law, where motions are still pending.
According to Bodog CEO Calvin Ayre's blog, the company is planning an appeal to the default judgment.
Meanwhile, Bodog, which temporarily moved its main site from Bodog.com to Newbodog.com after its domain names were taken away, has settled in a new permanent cyber home at BodogLife.com
IGN was unable to reach attorneys for either party.
Click here to view the testimony by Bodog's former accountant, Mario Jorge Salas Chavez.