Skillz mobile app lawsuit against AviaGames postponed to February

Skillz has accused rival AviaGames in federal court of copying its products and deceiving consumers by using non-human "bots" in its gambling games.

Apr 8, 2024
2 min read
Pocket7Games app in the Apple App Store. Pocket7Games developer AviaGames is facing two lawsuits,
Pocket7Games app in the Apple App Store. Pocket7Games developer AviaGames is facing two lawsuits, including one against its main competitor Skillz, accusing it of using bots to play against players in cash


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Skillz mobile app lawsuit against AviaGames postponed to February

Mobile game developer Skillz claims in federal court that rival AviaGames copied its product and deceived consumers by using non-human "bots" in its games. This week, a judge granted an adjournment of the case to allow Avia to prepare its defence.

U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman of the Northern District of California postponed Avia’s trial until February 2, 2024. In her decision, she explained that Avia had only known about Skillz’s fraud allegations since August 2023.

In September, Freeman ordered that confidential communications between AviaGames executives and their lawyers be turned over to Skillz's attorneys. The ruling came after Freeman found there appeared to be enough evidence that Avia was using bots in its mobile gaming app Pocket7Games.

Although AviaGames has been aware of Skillz's fraud allegations related to its use of bots since August 2023, Skillz's assertions of the attorney-client privilege and the felony fraud exception to the grand jury investigation only began in the past two months. "AviaGames filed the motion to adjourn the trial one week after receiving notice of the grand jury's subpoena against Skillz," Freeman wrote this week.

Last week, AviaGames was named in a proposed class-action lawsuit accusing the company of defrauding players through the use of bots. The case was also filed in the U.S. District Court for Northern California.

Robot Rejection

Skillz and AviaGames both develop and distribute skill-based mobile gaming applications. These games can be played for free or for real money.

In cash games, these apps pair players up. Skillz and the plaintiffs in the proposed class action claim that Avia frequently uses automated software to play games against players. The plaintiffs claim the bots are harder to defeat, thus reducing players' chances of winning money.

AviaGames has denied in court documents that its games use bots and are rigged. The company added that Skillz "is engaging in conduct that it falsely accuses AviaGames of."

Skillz first sued AviaGames in 2021, alleging patent infringement. The company claims Avia plagiarized its games, most notably the Pocket7Games app. The Pocket7Games app includes games such as Bingo Clash, 21 Gold and Solitaire. Pocket7Games maintains a 4.5/5 star rating on the Apple App Store.

Legality of Robots

Bots are vital to many video games and are present in nearly all multiplayer games, including leading titles like Halo and League of Legends. Skillz said the covert use of bots in a game promoted as a peer-to-peer money contest was the reason Avia broke the law.

Play fun cash games with others with similar skills," the description of the Pocket7Games app reads. "We are committed to providing a fair and safe social competitive gaming platform for all players. "

According to Avia, players must be 18 years or older to play cash games. Gambling is prohibited in Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Louisiana, Montana, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont and Puerto Rico.

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