Nestlé has been accused of copying Atari's classic arcade game Breakout in a KitKat marketing campaign.
As first reported by Reuters, Atari has filed a lawsuit against Nestlé which claims the food and drink manufacturer knowingly exploited the Breakout name, look and feel through social media and video. Atari claims Nestlé sought to leverage "the special place it holds among nostalgic baby boomers, Generation X, and even today's millennial and post-millennial gamers".
In the advert KitKat:Breakout, below, a mixture of adults and children are seen sitting on a couch and playing a game which involves moving a paddle to bounce balls against bricks of KitKats, ultimately destroying them.
"Nestlé simply took the classic Breakout screen, replaced its bricks with KitKat bars, and invited customers to 'break out' and buy more candy bars," claims Atari. "The infringing conduct in this case is so plain and blatant that Nestlé cannot claim to be an 'innocent' infringer. Nestlé knew exactly what it was doing."
Atari has accused Nestlé of copyright and trademark infringement and unfair competition.
Breakout was created by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs in 1976. The title was heavily influenced by the game Pong. In the game, players must try and knock down rows of colourful bricks using just a paddle and ball.
According to BBC News, Nestle's spokesperson said, "We are aware of the lawsuit in the US and will defend ourselves strongly against these allegations."