William Hill’s US subsidiary William Hill US has filed litigation against rival FanDuel in the Paddy Power Betfair group, alleging that the DFS-turned sports betting operator copied its “how to bet” guide for customers almost word for word.
The copyright infringement lawsuit was filed Tuesday in a U.S. District Court in New Jersey alleging that FanDuel’s duplication of the guide was so blatant that it even used the same hypothetical examples.
The Associated Press news agency reports that the lawsuit seeks unspecified damages against FanDuel, including any profits it made by using the allegedly copied guide.
AP notes that the case is also an example of how important the nascent U.S. sports betting market is to both companies, and how zealously competitors in the industry will fight to protect their brands and market share.
Since it opened in mid-June, sports betting has attracted over $336 million in bets in New Jersey, according to AP, which quotes Joe Asher, head of William Hill US as explaining:
“We are not litigious people, but this is ridiculous. If the court finds in our favour, a portion of the proceeds will fund scholarships for creative writing programs at New Jersey universities.”
FanDuel declined comment on the lawsuit.
William Hill US offers sports betting at Monmouth Park Racetrack. and runs the sports book at Atlantic City’s Ocean Resort Casino.
The lawsuit claims FanDuel circulated a virtually identical guide at the Meadowlands Racetrack a month later, submitting numerous examples of the allegedly copycat text and even graphic duplication of possible bets and odds.
But the most blatant example was a page in which FanDuel neglected to remove William Hill’s name from text it allegedly cut and pasted into its own guide!.