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Game Royalty Case Can Move Forward

Settling a royalty dispute between video game publisher THQ Inc. and JAKKS Pacific can move forward following a state appellate court ruling challenging appointment of an arbitrator in the case. JAKKS Pacific sought to disqualify arbitrators appointed by a superior court judge based on when potential arbitrators were required to complete disclosure questionnaires. The California Court of Appeals rejected March 3 the challenge by JAKKS to the arbitrators. Agoura Hills-based THQ took JAKKS to court over a dispute on royalties from WWE video game sales developed under a joint venture by the two companies. The two companies were to go to arbitration in the event they could not get a royalty rate in writing in effect as of July 2006. Sales of WWE games have reached $1 billion, THQ President and CEO Brian Farrell said. “As we have stated since we filed suit to compel arbitration and appoint an arbitrator, we look forward to moving the arbitration process forward expeditiously, and we expect to prevail once an arbitrator has the opportunity to consider the facts in this matter,” said James M. Kennedy, THQ’s executive vice president, business and legal affairs.

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