By Hang Lauv
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has filed a federal lawsuit against THQ, Jakks Pacific, Stanley Shenker & Associates, Inc., and Bell Licensing. WWE is seeking their contracted video-game license with Jakks and THQ to be void as well as punitive damages. The charges include extortion, bribery, and racketeering filed with the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
The Chief Executive Officer of WWE, Lind McMahon, stated, “We very much regret having to take this action today, but regret even more the facts and circumstances which have compelled us to do so. WWE’s intellectual property is a valuable asset of the Company, and we believe the actions taken today are necessary to preserve the integrity of our licensing process and essential to ensure that WWE receives appropriate and fair compensation for the grant of a license to use our intellectual property.”
THQ has since responded, issuing a press release of their own.
“THQ is committed to preserving its rights under the video-game license with the WWE. THQ believes the WWE is pleased with the manner in which THQ has managed their brand in the video-game category. As THQ is not directly accused of any wrongdoing in the complaint ? rather the complaint alleges wrongdoing on the part of JAKKS pacific and other of which THQ was and is unaware ? THQ is not in a position to comment on these allegations. In any event, either there is no basis for terminating the video-game license, or THQ expects to be made whole by those whose conduct is eventually found to be unlawful. THQ intends to vigorously protect and pursue its rights, if necessary.”