Niantic sues Global++ for creating a duplicate version of its popular apps

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Bhaswati Sarkar
Bhaswati Sarkar
She is a feminist pursuing a M.A. degree. She likes to lose herself in music and daydreams quite often. Travelling excites her and photography is her passion- nature is her favorite subject. Writing is cathartic for her. A happy-go-lucky kind of person, she tries to remain calm and serene through daily life.

San Francisco-based Niantic, the creator of the hugely popular smartphone game ‘Pokémon Go,‘ has sued Global++ for making and distributing “unauthorized derivative versions” of apps. The company claimed Global++ has made apps like ‘PokeGo++‘ and ‘Ingress++‘, that infringed on Niantic’s intellectual rights and also give users an unfair advantage.

The lawsuit filed by Niantic demands that Global++ and members should, with immediacy, stop distributing such unauthorized apps as well as stop reverse engineering the code to Niantic’s games.

Among other things, defendants’ schemes undermine the integrity of the gaming experience for legitimate players, diminishing enthusiasm for Niantic’s games and, in some cases, driving players away from Niantic’s games altogether. Defendant’s schemes, therefore, damage Niantic’s reputation and goodwill and interfere with Niantic’s business. – According to lawsuit

Niantic has described Global++ as an “association of hackers” and has mentioned the names of some people associated with it. Ryan “ElliotRobot” Hunt who is described by Niantic as the leader of Global++ and the principal developer of aforementioned unauthorized apps. Other than Ryan, Alen “iOS n00b” Hundur who has been described as the developer of such apps and the promoter of these apps on YouTube. A number of members of Global++ called “Doe defendants” who have yet not been identified. 

Global++ has furthermore allegedly made a huge profit by selling ‘subscriptions’ to these unauthorized apps.

“On information and belief, defendants have sold ‘subscriptions’ to their Cheating Programs to hundreds of thousands of users, reaping massive profits.”

The lawsuit moreover indicates that Niantic’s own users’ personal information was not compromised in any way by Global++.

Niantic will soon release its upcoming Harry Potter game called ‘Harry Potter: Wizards Unite’ of which Global++ apparently has already created a cracked version called ‘Potter++’. The game was available for beta testing in New Zealand and Australia since April.

Niantic has stated in its lawsuit that:

Niantic files this motion on the eve the United States launch of Harry Potter, the culmination of a multi-year, multi-million dollar investment by Niantic, the success of which is threatened by defendants’ unlawful conduct.- Niantic

A special event is going to be held next week at Universal Studios Hollywood by Niantic and co-developer WB Games. The makers to reveal more details about the upcoming ‘Harry Potter: Wizards Unite‘ and its launch would be provided.

There have been no response from the representatives of Global++ regarding Niantic’s lawsuit.

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