When license agreements turn sour, you know what's coming next. For World Wrestling Entertainment, THQ, and Jakks Pacific, the result is a Triple Threat matchup between the three companies, jockeying for position over the WWE Smackdown vs. Raw franchise.
WWE has sued the THQ-Jakks joint venture twice, looking to have their licensing agreements terminated, while the game and toy companies locking horns and duking it out over WWE-branded games' royalties.
The current game licensing deal is set to expire on December 31st later this year, but Jakks has said that they will be exercising their right to renew their contract for five years more. That's all the way to December 31, 2014. THQ, on the other hand, responds with a lawsuit of its own, claiming that it had not yet decided whether it would renew ties with WWE or not.
As it is, THQ is seeking declaratory judgment on three issues:
Jakks also says that they've entered arbitration proceedings with THQ with regard to this and other issues pertaining to the WWE license. THQ has not given any comment on the matter at this time.
- THQ wants to determine if Jakks can or cannot unilaterally renew the WWE license as part of the terms of its joint venture with the toy maker.
- THQ claims it is not obligated to consent to a renewal of the WWE license.
- The restriction prohibiting THQ from publishing any wrestling-based game without Jakks for at least a year after the termination of the WWE agreement can not be enforced under California law, the publisher claims.
We'll keep watch over the developments of this Triple Threat matchup, and you can bet these guys can't knock their ref out with a light nudge.
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