Image Comics partner Jim Valentino has filed a copyright- and trademark-infringement lawsuit, claiming a company released a video game based on his signature creation ShadowHawk without his permission.
In a documents filed last week in Los Angeles federal court, and first reported by Courthouse News Service, Valentino accuses Rose Colored Gaming of acquiring materials produced in the early 1990s by Nintendo for a never-released ShadowHawk 16-bit game, and then selling its own "finished" version earlier this year. What's more, the filing insists, the company used panels from one of Valentino's comics for the packaging.
Owned by Matthew Wiggins, Rose Colored Gaming caters to "the retro gaming community," with customized portable and home consoles, customized games, and artwork. There's no mention of the ShadowHawk game on its website, but Retro Collect reported on the initial announcement in mid-January (the posts on the Rose Colored Gaming Facebook page linked to in the story have been deleted).
In the lawsuit, Valentino claims Wiggins produced and sold the game knowing it infringed upon his rights; he allegedly acknowledged in an email that Rose Colored Gaming hadn't "gone through the proper channels."
Valentino seeks all of his losses and all of the defendant's profits from the sale of the game, statutory damages, and up to $2 million for the counterfeit use of his trademark, or triple the profits from the infringing activities.