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Simpsons Road Rage angers Sega over game patent

Two years after the launch of the game 'Simpsons Road Rage', Sega of America is suing rival Fox Entertainment and others, claiming that the million-selling Homer hit uses technology patented by Sega in its 'Crazy Taxi' game.15 Dec 2003

Two years after the launch of the game 'Simpsons Road Rage', Sega of America is suing rival Fox Entertainment and others, claiming that the million-selling Homer hit uses technology patented by Sega in its 'Crazy Taxi' game.

In Crazy Taxi, a taxi driver has to carry out whacky driving moves to reach a destination in time. Simpsons Road Rage, an Xbox and PlayStation 2 success, involves a taxi and similar gameplay and, according to Sega, was designed to "deliberately copy and imitate" Crazy Taxi.

The lawsuit quotes various media reviews of the Simpsons game, remarking on its similarity to Crazy Taxi.

Sega filed the suit in a San Francisco federal court, naming Fox Filmed Entertainment, Fox Interactive (now part of Vivendi Universal), developer Radical Games Limited and publisher Electronic Arts.

The action asks the court to order the withdrawal of Simpsons Road Rage from shops, and for damages in respect of profits made from the game.

Reports do not detail the Sega patent involved. However, on 25th November, the Japanese company was granted a US patent that it had applied for in February 2000. Sega described the patent as covering: "A driving game, wherein players having various driving skills - from beginners to those advanced - may enjoy both aspects of amusement and simulation in consistency."