League of Legends studio Riot Games has filed a lawsuit against Shanghai Moonton Technology for "willful and bad faith infringement" of its intellectual property.
This filing is against three of the Chinese developer's games, with the most recent being Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, GamaSutra reports. Riot Games is asserting that Shanghai Moonton has repeatedly attempted to clone League of Legends - and has, in fact, defeated the studio twice before.
The Chinese studio first appeared on Riot's radar in 2015 when it release Magic Rush: Heroes, a mobile MOBA that appeared to be a copy of Riot's flagship IP. After conversations with Shanghai Moonton, the game's US distributor Elex and representatives from Apple App Store and Google Play, the title was removed until its developer had modified it in a way that no longer infringed on Riot's rights.
However, Shanghai Moonton released a second title, Mobile Legends: 5v5 MOBA, in 2016 which Riot also accused of infringing on League right. The company provided evidence to back up these claims and this game was also removed - but an almost identical version, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, was released shortly after.
In a letter posted to its Facebook page, Shanghai Moonton claims: "Mobile Legends is a MOBA game that is developed by Moonton independently... Moonton has intellectual property rights."
Nevertheless, Riot has filed for judgement that will permanently prevent the Chinese studio from copying League of Legends. It is demanding all materials and accounting data related to the sales of each infringing products be given to Riot, as well as damages, legal fees and lost revenue.