Late Wednesday afternoon, legal firm Flachsbart & Greenspoon, which argued on behalf of 1st Technology, LLC, announced that a $46 million judgment had been reached against online poker room, casino, and sports book Bodog. It’s the latest blow for the site, which recently lost the rights to its domain name Bodog.com and now operates under BodogLife.com. With interest, 1st Technology claims Bodog now owes $50 million.
The statement released by Flachsbart & Greenspoon, which appeared on Marketwatch, among other places, noted that Bodog was sued by 1st Technology for damages suffered as a result of patent infringement “based on Bodog’s distribution of software used for online gaming.” The statement added that Bodog’s customers wagered $7.3 billion online in 2005 alone. With interest accrued, “The amount due 1st Technology from Bodog now exceeds $50 million.”
Lawyers from the firm Flachsbart and Greenspoon, LLC represented 1st Technology. The legal firm is headquartered in downtown Chicago and provides “general counsel regarding all intellectual property matters,” according to its website. Attorney William Flachsbart “has significant experience in the litigation and trial of patent cases involving computer, network, electronic, and emerging technologies.” His partner, Robert Greenspoon, stated following the decision, “We are extremely gratified for our client that the Court of Appeals saw the merits exactly the way we did.”
Dr. Scott Lewis heads 1st Technology. In August, Parlay Entertainment settled with the company on a separate patent infringement lawsuit. In that case, according to a press release distributed following the judgment, “The patent rights asserted by 1st Technology LLC target enhanced interactivity and optimized delivery of high-quality multimedia information over various bandwidth networks.” Lewis added, “We are pleased to have this dispute with Parlay resolved and look forward to working with other leading companies to assist in achieving compatibility with 1st Technology’s intellectual property.” The actual terms of the agreement forged between Parlay Entertainment and 1st Technology were never disclosed.
In 2006, Playtech signed a license agreement with 1st Technology, allowing the company to use patents that will enable Playtech to transmit information over “narrowband and broadband telephone, cable, and wireless Internet.” Playtech is a publicly traded company and can be found on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol “PTEC.” The company recently announced that its progressive jackpot payment has passed the $4 million mark. The stock closed trading on Thursday at ₤404.00, up ₤1 on the day. It also signed a recent licensing deal with Paramount Entertainment for the marketing rights to the “Gladiator” and “Untouchables” franchises.
The appeal was numbered 2008-1132. It’s the latest blow to Bodog, which became the subject of a Forbes article on July 30th entitled “Feds Hound Bodog.” In it, Forbes revealed that federal authorities had seized $24 million from bank accounts that may have been tied to Bodog, although the online poker room questioned the connection. Banks involved included Wachovia, Bank of America, SunTrust, and Regions, among the largest U.S. banks in existence. Calvin Ayre, the founder of Bodog, was ironically the subject of a Forbes piece entitled “Catch Me if You Can,” which appeared in 2006.
Morris Mohawk, a Canadian group with offices in Kahnawake, owns the rights to market Bodog to North American consumers. It’s led by former Olympic gold medalist Alwyn Morris. Ayre has no formal ties to Bodog today.
Flachsbart told Poker News Daily, “We originally filed suit in Las Vegas, which is where 1st Technology is located. Bodog didn’t appear despite being served. As a result, the court entered a default judgment. It was then that Bodog showed up and challenged the default ruling.” Today’s announcement that the lower level ruling will stand was a major victory for 1st Technology. Flachsbart has worked with the company on many of the licensing activities it has engaged in.