Kit Kat accused of copying Atari game Breakout

James Marshall
August 19, 2017

"In 1975, two little known but up-and-coming developers - Steve Jobs and Steve Wosniak - created Breakout for Atari, which was then looking to followup on its groundbreaking hit game, Pong", writes attorney Keith Wesley in the complaint.

In the complaint filed in a San Francisco federal court, Atari said Nestle "exploited" the Breakout name through the ads and other references on social media, hoping to take advantage of "the special place it holds among nostalgic Baby Boomers, Generation X, and even today's Millennial and post-Millennial 'gamers'".

In a recent advert a group of people are shown holding video game controllers and playing a four player game in which they bounce balls against bricks which are mini Kit-Kats.

It says it "had to have been obvious" to the food company that its actions were illegal, branding the marketing campaign as a "heist" of Atari's intellectual property.

Nestle has responded to the charge by pointing out the fact that the advert is no longer running, and said it would defend itself "strongly" against the allegations.

The classic game is available across many modern platforms, and there's also a hidden version if a user searches Google images for "Atari Breakout".

Kit Kat was first manufactured in 1935. The complaint, filed on Thursday (17 August), alleges that Nestle knowingly exploited the name and concept behind Atari's 1976 arcade classic, Breakout.

Nestle says it ran the campaign past year in the United Kingdom and has no plans to re-run it. Atari is seeking three times Nestle's profit from the campaign, plus triple punitive damages.

In addition to punitive damages, Atari is seeking damages in the amount of three times Nestle's profits from the campaign.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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