World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE) yesterday filed a civil lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York alleging wrongdoing on the behalf of toy company JAKKS Pacific. The suit specifically targets a video game license held by the joint venture company operated by JAKKS Pacific and video game publisher THQ Inc.
Charges lobbied against JAKKS Pacific and others include 14 counts of racketeering, bribery and money laundering. JAKKS Pacific denies any allegations and believes that it will be completely vindicated in the litigation. Other defendants in the suit include former WWE licensing agent Stanley Shenker & Associates (SSAI) and Bell Licensing.
In response to the suit, THQ issued a statement saying that it is not directly accused of any wrongdoing in the complaint and is unaware of any illegal activities. The game publisher also states that it is committed to preserving its rights under the game license and feels that its relationship with the WWE is still mutually satisfactory.
The lawsuit will have no effect on THQ games currently scheduled for release, including WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw, which is slated to ship on November 2.
JAKKS Pacific designs and markets a broad range of toys and leisure products under such brand names as Flying Colors, Play Along, Road Champs, Remco, Child Guidance, Pentech, Trendmasters, Toymax, Funnoodle, Go Fly a Kite and ColorWorkshop.