Iconic games maker Atari has filed a lawsuit against Swiss food giant Nestle over a recent marketing advert for its KitKat chocolate bar.
The advert showed a line of people sitting on a sofa in the middle of a train station, playing a game which Atari says bears a striking similarity to its own 1970s video game Breakout.
Breakout requires players to knock down rows of coloured bricks using a ping pong ball and a paddle in what was seen as a successor to the original Pong and was originally created by Apple’s Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs.
Nestle’s advert showed a very similar game but with the bricks replaced by brown KitKat bars.
Atari alleges the choice to use the game amounts to copyright and trademark infringement and claims Nestle has damaged the company’s goodwill and reputation on social media and television.
It says it “had to have been obvious” to the food company that its actions were illegal, branding the marketing campaign as a “heist” of Atari’s intellectual property.
It is seeking an award of three times Nestle’s profits from the advert plus punitive damages.
“Nestle has no excuse,” Atari said.
Nestle has responded to the charge by pointing out the fact that the advert is no longer running, and said it would defend itself “strongly” against the allegations.