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RollerCoaster Tycoon lawsuit goes to House of Lords

Case awaits high court decision, Atari may abandon counter-claim.

Atari's court case over payment to Chris Sawyer, creator of the RollerCoaster Tycoon series, is to go to the UK's highest court – the House of Lords.

Although the case currently has no prospect of success under UK law, the law itself may have changed by the time the case gets to the House of Lords.

"This is one of those unusual cases in which a claim which the court considers has no real prospect of success (as the law stands) should, nevertheless, be permitted to go trial," said judge Lord Justice Chadwick.

Sawyer is claiming that Atari has breached the terms of a licensing agreement by not allowing auditors access to accounts from 1999 to 2001, during which he claims he is owed US $4.8 million.

Atari has since counter-claimed that Sawyer has broken an agreement by letting developer Frontier create a demo based on the RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise, and therefore induced Frontier to breach its contractual obligations to Atari.

The law of inducement is the sticking point that has caused the case to be forwarded to the House of Lords, and it will now wait pending two other appeals.

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