Court Denies EA’s Motion To Dismiss Former NCAA Player’s Lawsuit

According to court documents obtained by Patent Arcade, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California denied a motion by Electronic Arts to have a lawsuit by a former NCAA football player dismissed. The decision means that the lawsuit will be able to continue and is a serious blow to the NCAA sports wing of EA.

The lawsuit, instigated by former Arizona State and later, Nebraska quarterback Samuel Keller, claims that EA uses the likenesses of real-life NCAA football players in its games and that the failure to compensate the players is illegal. The lawsuit says that although EA Sports doesn’t use the player’s real names in the game it features their jersey numbers, home states, height, weight, skin tone, hair color, hair style and uniform features to replicate them accurately.

EA aimed for a dismissal by claiming that players were subject to “significant transformative elements” and that allows the NCAA Football games to be protected by the first amendment. However, the US District Court ruled that “EA’s game goes beyond mere reporting of ‘just the players’ names and statistics; it offers a depiction of the student athletes’ physical characteristics and, as noted, enables consumers to control the virtual players on a simulated football field.”

While the dismissal appears to be a blow to EA and EA Sports, the file for dismissal is a necessary attempt to end the lawsuit and EA probably knew that there wasn’t much of a chance at getting the lawsuit dismissed.

Honestly, though, we have a few thoughts on this case. Number 1 being – 99.9% of players would be pretty psyched to see themselves in a football game. And number 2 being that, if you’re like us, you think the players in NCAA Football all look the same. Quite frankly, there are only four or five different facial types available for each player and you can’t even customize hair style or anything else. Look, I played and reviewed NCAA Football 10 and Tim Tebow’s “likeness” did not even remotely look like Tim Tebow.

Thoughts, everybody?

Source: Patent Arcade