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PokerStars Wins Court Ruling on Poker Rules

A judge has dismissed a complaint by poker pro Marcel Luske against PokerStars over a copyright complaint involving Luske’s International Rules of Poker. The judge dismissed the complaint, but gave Luske time to file amendments. Luske maintains that PokerStars copied his rules without compensating him.

A Clark County Nevada judge has dismissed a complaint by poker pro Marcel Luske over PokerStars alleged use of his copyrighted International Rules of Poker.

The judge has given Luske until March, however, to file an amended complaint. District Judge Nancy Allf ruled that Luske must show he had an exclusive agreement with PokerStars over the use of the rules in any new complaint as well as issues concerning the branding and copyrighting of the rules.

In his initial complaint, Luske says he copyrighted the rules in 2008 as an alternative to rules used by poker operators. Luske charged that those rules were often manipulated to favor the operators.

Luske was also a featured PokerStars pro and entered into an agreement to have PokerStars use the rules. However, he charges that PokerStars never made good on a promised $25,000 annual licensing fee and then rebranded the rules as PSLive rules.

PokerStars responded in court filings that Luske cannot show he copyrighted the rules and chose to sue in state court since he can’t meet federal copyright standards.

The judge ruled Luske must show whether the poker rules were copyrighted and for how long, the terms of contracts, and whether there were performance and consideration to address deficiencies with his ongoing or prospective economic reliance claim, according to CDC Gaming Reports.

Luske sued on behalf of himself and co-plaintiffs Federal International de Poker Association, which Luske founded in 2007, and Global Poker Support International, which he founded in 2009.

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