Update: Cardroom International’s Claim to Full Tilt’s Software

Software company Cardroom International (CI) laid last year legal claim to $30 million of the contents in the five bank accounts related to the Black Friday indictments. Being dominated in the media with advertising and airtime buys during the pre-Black Friday era, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker allegedly blocked CI from licensing its software to major media companies.

Though the U.S. Department of Justice refuted the claim at the time, Cardroom International is back for another bite following the successful completion of a deal between the DoJ, PokerStars and Full Tilt. The company filed a claim to the rights of Full Tilt’s software with the Superior Court of California in Los Angeles County a month ago.

It all started in 2001 when, according to the CI claims initiated at the time, Full Tilt was set up through the company BH Development and when they recruited Chris Ferguson as an investor. He introduced Howard Lederer and Ray Bitar as investors to the company, but by allying the investors with an employee of the company called Perry Friedman, Ferguson circumvented the investment process and formed “The Jesus Coalition”.

BH Development then initiated a lawsuit, which required a settlement which implied that: 1) “The Jesus Coalition” relinquish all interests in BH Development without the return of their investment; 2) “The Jesus Coalition” would take full control of the Full Tilt Poker trade name and URLs; 3) agreement on a joint copyright interest in the BH Development software neither party could transfer the assets nor software without the others consent.

It ended up with BH developing the software for the now defunct Jet Set Poker, while Ferguson et al developed Full Tilt’s software.

Finally, on September 5, 2012, the U.S. Attorneys Office’s (USAO) requested that the court denies the amendment because of the “undue delay, prejudice, and bad faith” of the late filing of a claim to the software rights, adding that “the software and related copyrights were joint but non-exclusive, therefore cannot assert a direct interest in Full Tilt&s joint but separate interests that were forfeited and transferred”.

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