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In-Depth: Exploring Ultracade's Alleged Counterfeit Arcade Game Racket
In-Depth: Exploring Ultracade's Alleged Counterfeit Arcade Game Racket
August 6, 2009 | By John D. Andersen

August 6, 2009 | By John D. Andersen
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[In this in-depth investigation, John D. Andersen looks into claims that parties related to the creators of the Ultracade arcade game cabinet counterfeited numerous classic arcade games for public sale in the West, with extensive background on the fascinating case and claims from SNK Playmore, Tecmo, G-Mode, and Jaleco that their IP was used without their knowledge.]

Gamasutra previously reported that former Ultracade Technologies owner David Russell Foley had been handed a 35-count felony indictment on July 1st, 2009 by the United States District Court.

The indictment accuses Foley of counterfeiting Ultracade arcade game packs on USB flash memory drives between June 2006 and February 2008 for his own financial benefit, using property he previously sold to Global VR. Foley is accused of selling those game packs to Michael Daddona, who would then sell them on Ebay through his company Automated Services based in Milford, Connecticut.

G-Mode, Jaleco, SNK Playmore and Tecmo representatives have now publicly commented to Gamasutra, and are accusing Ultracade Technologies former owner David R. Foley of piracy. These parties are now claiming that Ultracade arcade game cabinets and game packs contained many titles that were never legitimately licensed for Ultracade.

All four companies released statements to Gamasutra indicating they had no records of ever licensing their game titles to Ultracade Technologies and its former owner David Russell Foley. These products include the original Ultracade coin-op arcade units and game packs.

As of this writing, and despite the indictment handed down and unsealed last month, Foley's alleged partner in the indictment, Michael Daddona, is still advertising Ultracade products as new with pre-installed G-Mode, Jaleco, Tecmo and SNK Playmore titles on Daddona's website ThePinballStore.com, the games division of Automated Services. The Ultracade products range in price from $1700.00 up to $4200.00 on ThePinballStore.com website.

Ultracade Technologies advertisements obtained by Gamasutra from The Arcade Flyer Archive show Ultracade products specifically listing G-Mode's Data East game titles, along with Jaleco, SNK Playmore and Tecmo game titles.

G-Mode, Jaleco, SNK Playmore and Tecmo were individually asked if they had ever licensed their games to Ultracade Technologies for use on Ultracade from 2001 to 2006. All four companies released statements to Gamasutra indicating they could not find information about licensing their game titles to Ultracade Technologies and its former owner David Russell Foley.

G-Mode, based in Tokyo, Japan, acquired the majority of Data East's video game property in February of 2004 after Data East Corporation declared bankruptcy a year before. G-Mode was first contacted in January of 2006 by the contributor of this story with regards to its Data East games appearing on Ultracade game packs. G-mode's Data East titles first appeared on the Ultracade manufactured 2004 Sports Pack that included Karate Champ, Side Pocket, Street Hoop, and Super Doubles Tennis. An Ultracade manufactured Casino Legends pack also included Lucky Poker, another early 80's Data East game that G-mode had acquired. G-mode was unable to comment publicly until now, when it was informed by Gamasutra of the indictment against Foley and Daddona.

Alex Kameda, G-mode's Overseas Business Manager, released this statement to Gamasutra on July 23rd, 2009:

"G-mode has no recollection or documentation of licensing out our Data East titles to Ultracade or to Mr. Foley himself, and G-mode hopes that these indictments help move and strengthen video game anti-piracy in the appropriate direction."

Jaleco properties began appearing on Ultracade machines as early as 2001 when Ultracade was sold under Hyperware Technologies. The original March 5th, 2001 press release announcing Jaleco games for Ultracade [archived link] was located for this story. The press release indicates that Jaleco titles 64th Street, Astyanax, Avenging Spirit, Cybattler, EDF, P-47, Rod Land and Saint Dragon had been licensed for Ultracade. Jaleco's games would later be included on the Mega Pack [archived link] game pack upgrade sold for Arcade Legends and Ultimate Arcade.

When contacted about Ultracade's usage of Jaleco properties, the indictment, and its games still being listed on Daddona's website, Norisada Kiuchi, public relations and marketing representative of Tokyo based Jaleco Games released this July 22nd, 2009 statement to Gamasutra:

"We checked these matters which you informed us of and found there's no evidence that Jaleco had licensed to the companies Ultracade and Hyperware, and the person David R Foley".

A former VP of sales and marketing that worked for Jaleco USA in Wheeling, Illinois from mid-1999 until May of 2001 was also contacted for this story. The former Jaleco USA executive, speaking on condition of anonymity, says that, at least according to her knowledge of the situation, there was no licensing agreement for Jaleco games to appear on Ultracade products.

The Tecmo properties on Ultracade and the Ultracade Sports Pack included: Bomb Jack, Bomb Jack Twin, Grid Iron Fight, Pinball Action, Saboten Bombers, and Tehkan World Cup. Formerly known as Tehkan, the company changed its name to Tecmo in January of 1986. Tecmo Inc. spokeswoman Aileen Viray released this statement to Gamasutra on July 16th, 2009.

"Thank you very much for letting us know about this because we were unaware our games were being sold or pirated. Tecmo was not aware of the lawsuit or the indictment against Mr. David R. Foley until your e-mail reached us. We never had a legitimate licensing contract with Foley to sell our games on his Ultracade console and we hope the case is brought to justice.

Legal, authentic classic Tecmo arcade titles that are currently available include Tecmo Classic Arcade released on Xbox in 2005 and downloadable titles released on Wii’s Virtual Console: Solomon’s Key, Tecmo Bowl, Mighty Bomb Jack, Ninja Gaiden, Ninja Gaiden II, Ninja Gaiden III".


Tecmo was first contacted for comment in 2006 regarding its titles appearing on Ultracade products, but was unable to release a statement regarding the matter citing legal reasons.

One such company that was able to make a statement in 2006 was SNK Playmore USA. Super Champion Baseball (developed by Alpha Denshi in 1989), and Super Dodge Ball (developed by Technos Japan for the Neo-Geo in 1996) are advertised as being included on the Ultracade Sports Pack in 2004. Eric Feiner, then sales & marketing vice-president of SNK Playmore USA in 2006, provided this comment:

"The two titles you mentioned are in fact owned by SNK Playmore Corp. However, I cannot confirm if the games in the Ultracade are SNK originals since we have never played or tested the games on the system. Also, SNK has not licensed the two titles to Ultracade Technologies. They are using the games without SNK Playmore Corp. approval. Just to be clear, both Alpha and Technos were former developers for SNK, however they have gone out of business and the IP [of those two games] is owned by SNK Playmore Corp."

Gamasutra recently contacted Yoshihito Koyama, SNK Playmore's General Manager of International Marketing. He examined the screenshots on the Ultracade Sports Pack flyers advertising Super Champion Baseball, and the 1996 Neo-Geo version of Super Dodge Ball, confirming that both titles are SNK Playmore intellectual properties. Koyama has been a long-time employee of SNK since 1991.

"No, we never licensed both games to them", Koyama claimed via a July 17th, 2009 email from the Los Angeles office of SNK Playmore USA, adding emphatically, "They never ever asked to license from us!"

Though Gamasutra originally investigated this story in mid-2006, no specifics concerning Ultracade products was run, since all company assets had already been sold to Global VR, and many companies couldn't provide definitive statements on the unfolding matter. However, the July 1st, 2009 indictment against David Russell Foley and Michael Daddona allowed Gamasutra to re-examine its prior 2006 investigation. The Sports Pack and Mega Pack containing G-Mode, Jaleco, SNK Playmore and Tecmo games, were just two of many game packs specifically listed within the indictment, and were originally investigated by the contributor of this story.

According to the indictment: "As a further part of the conspiracy and scheme and artifice to defraud, Foley manufactured the game packs by using and including proprietary code that enabled the game belonging to and licensed by Global VR, as well as games not licensed by Global VR, but owned by third party gaming software developers such as Namco, Nintendo and Taito to be played on the video arcade platform belonging to Global VR."

Included in the indictment were other game packs that Foley allegedly counterfeited with his partner Daddona. Gamasutra took a closer look at the game packs titles listed within the indictment itself, which includes games from Namco Bandai, Nintendo and Taito Corporation, but also from Midway Games and Digital Leisure as being allegedly counterfeited by Foley and Daddona.

Listed within the July 1st indictment are the following game packs in Counts Two Through Eleven (18 U.S.C. 2320 (a) and 2 – Trafficking in Counterfeit Goods; Aiding and Abetting): Listed within the July 1st indictment are the following game packs in Counts Two Through Eleven (18 U.S.C. 2320 (a) and 2 – Trafficking in Counterfeit Goods; Aiding and Abetting):

Count Date Item

2 6/29/06 Casino Pack – Ultracade (UC)

3 8/26/06 Taito Arcade Classics Pack for Arcade Legends (AL)

4 9/22/06 Trackball Classics Pack for UC

5 10/9/06 Midway Arcade Treasures for AL

6 3/7/07 Lost Treasures for AL

7 3/18/07 Sports Pack for AL

8 4/6/07 Space Invaders for UC

9 9/9/07 Dragon's Lair Anniversary Pack for UC

10 12/11/07 Mega Pack for AL

11 1/28/08 Custom F Pack for AL

Also listed within the same indictment are the following game packs in Counts Nineteen Through Twenty-Three (18 U.S.C. 1343 and 2 – Wire Fraud; Aiding and Abetting):


Count Invoice Date Product(s)


19 6/29/06 Casino Pack, Galaxian Pack, Space Invaders Deluxe

20 10/12/06 Midway Arcade Treasures, Arcade Pack 4

21 2/09/07 King Pack for AL

22 9/09/07 Dragon's Lair Anniversary Pack for UC, Taito Arcade Classics Pack for UC

23 12/05/07 Mega Pack, Space Invaders Pack


Gamasutra's research indicates that the "King Pack for AL" pack contains the following three Nintendo arcade games: Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., and Donkey Kong 3. It's unknown which game titles were included on the Custom F Pack, Lost Treasures Pack, and Arcade Pack 4. The indictment lists the total prices for each game pack order as being $697.50, $1,030.00, $260.00, $592.25, and $180.25 for counts 19 through 23 respectively.

Nintendo of America did not respond to Gamasutra's requests for comment concerning the indictment against Foley and Daddona.

Taito Corporation spokesperson Kazumi Yuge replied to Gamasutra's interview request stating: "Taito cannot comment on litigation".

Namco Bandai Games spokesperson Arne Cual-Pedroso replied to our interview request with the following comment: "We do not comment on any potential or pending litigations. However, we will always protect our intellectual properties to the fullest extent of the law."

Namco America, Namco's coin-op division based in Elk Grove Village, Illinois had previously spoken out and taken certain legal action against Ultracade Technologies as early as 2003. Namco America discovered Foley was taking individual copies of Microsoft Return of the Arcade Anniversary Edition, pre-installing it on Ultracade, and then selling it to arcades. The 2000 release of Microsoft Return of the Arcade included Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Pole-Position, Galaxian, and Dig-Dug for Windows. In a March 2003 article posted on The Vending Times, then Namco America president Kevin Hayes made the company position clear:

"Ultracade is completely out of bounds in selling 'Pac-Man' or any other Namco titles for arcade use with their system. They have not licensed it from Namco or anyone else. Operators buying Namco titles from them should realize they are buying an unlicensed, illegal product and that Namco is taking appropriate action to protect its intellectual property from misuse / theft."

Foley responded by saying Microsoft's End User License Agreement didn't apply to the sale of arcade products such as Ultracade:

"This product is offered for sale by Microsoft, and is fully licensed and fully legal for us to resell. We purchase, and redistribute a Microsoft license for each copy that we sell to install onto the Ultracade platform.

We would not jeopardize our business by selling illegal or pirate games. In some cases, we have purchased legal ROMs for resale, and in other cases are purchasing the Microsoft versions for resale, in either case, we are not in any way violating Namco's copyrights."


On the same 2003 Ultracade advertisements in which Namco game packs could be found, Konami's Frogger, and Nintendo's Donkey Kong arcade classics were also listed for sale. These properties could also be found for sale on Ultracade's website [archived link] that same year.



2003 Ultracade Game Listing Flyer


With regards to the July 2009 indictment, it states that Foley sold all Ultracade Technology assets, including his ownership interest in Ultracade, technology, and intellectual property to Global VR on June 2nd, 2006. The properties Foley sold to Global VR included a specialized Ultracade operating system, hardware, software and loading codes. All of Ultracade's licensing rights, including the rights to produce Ultracade game packs were also transferred to Global VR.

Foley allegedly stole approximately 1,500 USB flash memory drives from Ultracade prior to the company's sale to Global VR. Foley also allegedly charged the cost of 200 additional USB flash memory drives to Global VR.

It is alleged that Foley began his game pack manufacturing operation in June of 2006. Foley used his residence to manufacture the game packs onto the USB flash memory drives, using a computer loaded with proprietary software stolen from Ultracade just prior to Global VR's purchase of the company. Foley then allegedly sent the game packs to Michael Daddona who owns and operates Automated Services based in Milford, Connecticut.

Daddona allegedly paid Foley for the game packs, placed counterfeit Global VR markings on them, and advertised them on Ebay as authentic Global VR product. Daddona is alleged to have sold the counterfeit product at a lower price than actual Global VR product. Customers paid for the game packs by mailing checks to Daddona at his Milford, Connecticut operation, or wired the money to him via PayPal. Automated Services and Daddona then allegedly mailed the game packs to customers across the country via UPS.

Daddona allegedly paid Foley for the game packs with checks made out to Foley. According to the indictment, Foley instructed Daddona to pay for game packs by sending checks and wire transfers to Toaplan Ltd., which is an entity listed in the indictment as being "established and controlled by Foley".

Toaplan Company Ltd just also happens to be the name of a former Japanese video game developer that went bankrupt in 1994. Toaplan was famous for its line of side-scrolling shooter video games including Zero Wing, and other games such as Snow Bros.

Ironically, Gamasutra has discovered through its research that Foley sold Toaplan games on Ultracade beginning in 2002, including such titles as Hellfire, Outzone, Snow Bros, Snow Bros 2, Truxton 2, and Zero Wing (the Sega Genesis version would be responsible for the "All your base are belong to us" flash animation phenomenon that went viral on the internet in 2000). The current owner of the Toaplan video game properties could not be located for this story.

All money paid to Foley from Daddona was paid to a bank account with the title "B.B." according to the indictment. After deposits were made into this account, the balance was quickly transferred to a Bank of America account in Foley's name.

According to the indictment, Global VR began an internal investigation that allegedly uncovered Foley's counterfeiting operation and sale of Ultracade game packs for his own personal profit. Global VR determined that the sale of these game packs took place after Foley had been compensated for the transfer of all Ultracade intellectual property to Global VR.

According to the indictment, Foley was fired from Global VR on September 23rd, 2006, as a result of the findings from Global VR's internal investigation. After his firing, Foley would allegedly apply and secure a loan in the amount of $2,624,475 on October 3, 2006 to buy a house in Los Gatos, California. Foley stated in the application and presented documents declaring he was still employed by Global VR and received regular income from the company.

The indictment claims that Foley continued to manufacture and sell counterfeit game packs to Daddona after his firing from Global VR until February of 2008.

David R. Foley and Michael Daddona are both charged with the following counts in the July 1st, 2009 indictment: Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud and Wire Fraud, Trafficking in Counterfeit Goods; Aiding and Abetting, Mail Fraud; Aiding and Abetting, Wire Fraud; Aiding and Abetting; Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering; Aiding Abetting; Money Laundering;.

David R. Foley is solely charged with the following counts in the same indictment: Trafficking in Stolen Goods, Aiding and Abetting, Theft of Trade Secrets, Engaging in Money Laundering Transactions in Property Derived From Specified Unlawful Activity, and Bank Fraud.

With regards to the 35-count indictment, Foley pled not guilty to the charges on July 8th, 2009 and was released on $100,000 bond, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

When contacted via email by Gamasutra, Foley declined to comment on the charges against him in the indictment, referring all questions to his attorney. A telephone message left with Foley's attorney seeking comment on the indictment was not returned. An email sent to Daddona's Pinballs.com business seeking comment went unanswered.

Global VR did not respond to questions for this story. A Global VR flyer from 2006 advertising the Ultracade Sports Pack and Casino Pack was located on the Arcade Flyer Archive. It's unknown how long these products remained on sale before being discontinued by Global VR, since no advertisements for these game packs could be found after 2006. Global VR currently manufactures and distributes its own upright retro arcade cabinet called Global Arcade Classics, which touts over 80 officially licensed games from such companies as Midway, Taito, and Konami.



2006 Ultracade game pack flyer from Global VR


Shortly after the San Francisco Chronicle published the story concerning Foley's indictment, Robert DeKett, Foley's former partner in charge of business development and licensing at Ultracade came forward and issued a statement regarding the charges against Foley to website Arcade Heroes:

"While I cannot comment on any specifics on the case, I can tell you I was the VP of Business Development at UltraCade, and then at Global VR, and was involved in deals licensing the IP in question. I don’t believe that David has done anything wrong, and I believe he will be vindicated by a full acquittal. I can also tell you that he still owns UltraCade Technologies, and that Global VR defaulted on the purchase of certain assets of UltraCade Technologies, never completing the payments that were due. None of the UltraCade creditors that were to benefit from the deal have received a dime. David and Global VR have been fighting this in a civil lawsuit that was started in 2006. I would caution people to wait until this is settled and know the entire story before rendering a judgment or opinion about the situation. Remember, in America you are innocent until proven guilty. David has to do nothing to prove his innocence, it’s up to the DA to prove the claims."

DeKett is currently the CEO and co-founder of Nanotech Entertainment, where Foley currently serves as chief technology officer and co-founder, according to the company website.

There is an interesting side note to this story. Aruze Corporation was also just one of the many companies initially contacted for this story in 2006. Aruze was formally known as Universal Sales (no affiliation to the media conglomerate of the same name) and was responsible for the arcade game series Mr. Do! Universal would change its name to Aruze Corporation in April of 1998. Aruze's core business is in pachinko/pachislot, overseas casino game machines and casino resort operations with Wynn Resorts.

In July of 2002 Ultracade Technologies announced in a press release [archived link] that it would begin including Universal arcade game titles in the Ultracade multi-game system. Those properties would include: Mr. Do!, Mr. Do's Castle, Mr. Do's Wild Ride, Do Run Run, Cosmic Avenger, Jumping Jack, Kick Rider, Lady Bug, Nova 2001, Snap Jack, Space Panic, Super Pierot and Yankee Do.

Ultracade Technologies would also begin selling a Mr. Do t-shirt through its online store [archived link] that retailed for $19.99.

The July 2002 Ultracade press release has one apparent peculiarity: Ultracade Technologies repeatedly uses the Universal company name in the release, when Universal had already officially changed its name to Aruze in April of 1998. The Aruze company name is not found anywhere in the release. A statement from an Aruze Corporation representative is also absent from the Ultracade press release. A paragraph with Aruze company information is nowhere to be found.

Foley also appeared to have filed a claim for Mr. Do at the U.S. Copyright Office under his own name (Registration number: Txu-1-217-203). On February 23rd, 2004 a claim for the title would be made as "Mr. Do]", the claimant would be Foley himself, and the claim limit would consist of "New Matter: new & rev. text of computer program." Foley would make a claim once again for the same title at the U.S. Copyright Office two days later (Registration number: Vau-619-200), in which the claim limit consisted of "New matter: revisions & additions". The description for this filing would consist of "Art Original".

U.S. Copyright Office records also show that an "Intellectual property security agreement" for Mr. Do would be recorded on December 8th, 2005 between Foley and an individual by the name of Peter Feuer, with Feuer being represented by attorney Bruce R. Lesser (U.S. Copyright Office Document Number: V3532D164). Peter Feuer is known as the former president and founder of Merit Industries, an amusement game manufacturing business.

U.S. Copyright Office records show that Universal Company originally registered its game titles Cosmic Avenger, Ladybug, Mister Do, Mister Do's Castle, Mister Do's Wild Ride, Snap Jack, and Space Panic for copyright between 1982 and 1984. The filing for Mr. Do would be specifically titled as "Mister Do" by Universal on its original copyright application.

The contributing writer for this story first contacted Aruze Corporation on April 17th, 2006 asking if the company had licensed any of its video game properties to Ultracade Technologies and David R. Foley. Mr. Mitsuo Kiyokawa, then general manager of Aruze's corporate planning office in Tokyo, responded by saying:

"We have not found any records to show that we licensed our intellectual property to those parties. Thus, the way we do is to contact those parties and see how they react. Thank you for your cooperation."

Shortly thereafter, Aruze stopped corresponding to the emails of this contributor when the company was asked if it could make a public statement on the matter with regards to its games appearing on Ultracade multi-game systems.

Approximately six weeks after Aruze was first contacted about Ultracade for this story, US Patent and Trademark Office records indicate that Aruze Corporation would file for trademark on Cosmic Avenger, Do! Run Run, Mr. Do!, Mr. Do's Castle, and Space Panic on May 25th, 2006. Another filing on June 2nd, 2006 would appear for Mr. Do's Wild Ride. These new filings for trademarks would replace ones originally filed by Universal USA between 1982 and 1984 when the company's arcade game subsidiary was based in Santa Clara, California. Trademark records indicate that the original Universal USA trademark registrations for Cosmic Avenger, Lady Bug, Mr. Do!, Snap Jack, and Space Panic were cancelled on various dates between 1989 to 1991.

On June 23rd, 2006, U.S. Copyright Office records indicate that the December 8th, 2005 intellectual property security agreement between Foley and Feuer for Mr. Do was terminated, (U.S. Copyright Office Document Number: V3539D801).

On November 7, 2006, Namco Networks announced a distribution and publishing agreement with Aruze to release its arcade classics on the mobile platform. The press release states:

"Having recognized the success of Namco Networks in the mobile content arena, Aruze, the license holder for Mr. Do!, Mr. Do's Castle and other titles originally published by Universal, selected Namco Networks to localize mobile game titles for the North American market."

On February 11th, 2008 Namco Networks would release Mr. Do! and Mr. Do's Castle to mobile phones. This would be Mr. Do's first major platform release since its Neo-Geo and Super Nintendo releases in 1996.

As of this writing, Aruze's properties were still listed on Daddona's website as being pre-loaded with every Ultracade machine.

Aruze Corporation did not respond to requests for comment on this story when notified of the indictment earlier this month. Aruze is also known for its Shadow Hearts RPG series for the PS2, which saw releases in 2001, 2003 and 2005 respectively. Aruze closed its video game development and pachinko technology subsidiary Seta Corporation, in a separate announcement reported earlier this year by Gamasutra.

There are various other companies that had also properties sold on Ultracade, including Million Co., Ltd owners of the Technos Japan game properties Super Championship V'ball, Super Dodge Ball (original 1987 arcade version), and Tag Team Wrestling. Million was notified in 2006 but did not provide comment. It's assumed that the licensing rights to the Technos Japan properties WWF Superstars and WWF Wrestlefest expired years ago as Million confirmed that they did not own either property.

Enterbrain, owners of the consumer rights to Penguin Wars (aka Penguin-kun Wars), declined to comment in 2006.

Nichibutsu, owners of Moon Cresta that appeared on the Mega Pack did not respond to correspondence that same year.

All of the game titles from Million and Nichibutsu, with the exception of Enterbrain's Penguin Wars, are still listed on Daddona's website as being pre-installed on every Ultracade machine.

Confirmation of IP ownership of several game titles was also uncovered for this article. G-Mode officials confirmed titles such as Wind Jammers, was acquired by Tokyo based Paon Corporation, which owns several other select Data East games. Ring King (aka King of Boxer) was originally released by Data East USA for the arcades and the NES. The rights are believed to have reverted back to Namco Bandai Games, but Gamasutra could not positively confirm this. Namco Bandai Games did release a 2004 I-Mode cell phone version of Ring King in Japan with its original Japanese title of Family Boxing.

It's unknown at this time if any of the game developers, publishers and various IP holders will bring forth legal action for criminal copyright infringements or piracy against Foley or Daddona as a result of the indictment.

The Ultracade multi-game system originally went on sale as early as 2001 when Foley operated Hyperware Technologies in the late-1990's. Quantum3D acquired the company in 1998 and Foley invented Ultracade around this period of time while acting as VP of Engineering under Quantum 3D's ownership, according to the same Nanotech Entertainment biography. Ultracade would go on sale through Hyperware in 2001. Foley would purchase Hyperware's IP rights to Ultracade in 2002, and form his own company, Ultracade Technologies in San Jose, California that same year. It was then In June 2006, Global VR would acquire all Ultracade IP, assets, licensing rights, including Foley's ownership interest in subject technology, and IP titled in his name.

Ultracade was also made available to residents abroad via distributors in Australia and the UK as early as 2002, as well as in Japan for a short period of time in 2005.



2005 Japanese Ultracade Sports Pack flyer


Assistant District Attorney Richard C. Cheng of the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (CHIP) unit based within the San Jose U.S. Attorney's Office is handling the current indictment against David Russell Foley and Michael Daddona.

[UPDATE: Chicago Gaming Company has contacted us to further clarify their role in distribution and ownership of the Arcade Legends and Ultimate Arcade series, which were other names under which Ultracade products were distributed. The company, based in Cicero, Illinois, now produces Arcade Legends 2 and Ultimate Arcade 2, which are not affiliated with Ultracade Technologies in any way, and contain legitimately licensed games, according to a sales & marketing representative at Chicago Gaming Company.]


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Comments


Kevin Reese
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I certainly don't condone piracy, but it would be nice if some of the game companies involved made less expensive ROM packs available for sale, for use in rebuilt cabinets with MAME. As it is now there are many older games that businesses can't buy unless they get lucky finding them on ebay or CL. If some of these game companies holding the licenses got a bit more saavy with the delivery options, perhaps more businesses would be inclined to buy old games off of them for locally built refurbished arcade cabinets (instead of not selling the games at all.)

kevin williams
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Can I compliment you on your in-depth coverage of a very difficult subject.

Carl Skarstedt
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I have previously looked in to the rights of Toaplan games, many of which were distributed by Taito, and ended up with no further information other than that the rights were owned by bancruptcy creditors who could not be reached. I have always wondered why Ultracade could get hold of the license, but this lawsuit has a very convenient possible explanation.

I was actually more interested in the potential copyright claims that popular open source arcade emulator projects could have on Ultracade since the development of the Ultracade emulator happened so rapidly when others took a lot of time for each individual title.

Ray Beez
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Something just doesn't make sense in all this. The Ultracade machines were sold in the same distributors as Namco, SNK and other company's amusement devices. Ultracade and Global VR would go and display their goods at the same tradeshows (AMOA, etc). So it wasn't exactly "under the radar".



Foley also tried to trademark "MAME" as many should recall (no mention in this article) and he had talked about trying to put together a ROM service called "iROMS". It was only the tremendous backlash against his trademark application caused the application to be withdrawn. But again, this was not under the radar at all either.



So either the guy was oblivious to how trademark and copyright law works. Or didnt care and owns the biggest pair of balls in the world. Or he was operating under the legal counsel of a very very bad or corrupt lawyer. Or, this VP guy that supposedly handled licensing was the corrupt one and lying to Foley about the licensing deals?



It's all quite peculiar. I mean if you're going to do that kind of fraudulent activity so openly, so close to the very people you're stealing from, you know it's not going to last forever. Why bother at all with "arcade games"? Might as well have run a ponzi scheme instead. It just doesn't make sense.

Ray Beez
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PS: No mention of the Ultrapin pinball machine. Was that properly licensed or not?

Haniff Din
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Something doesn't add up at all here. Arcade roms are splattered all over the net. People build their own mame cabinets and all sorts. The roms are really available for free.



Is it all of a sudden the copyright owners see there is money to be made in retro-games and old titles?



If there is, they should be doing there own ultracade/mame machines. Why go after an enthusiast doing everything in the open?

Ray Beez
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Haniff, this guy was not an "enthusiast".


none
 
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