Will Wright’s HiveMind tied up in “atrocity” and “genocide” legal battle

Jawad Ansari (left) and Will Wright holding a hammer (right)

Just to be clear, before we move on, there are two Hive Minds. There’s “HiveMind”, which is the idea of developers harvesting your mobile and social data extensively to create a game that is specifically targeted at an individual user, and there’s “Hive Mind”, the actual company formed to exploit that idea commercially.

Now the former HiveMind (the idea) seems to be now tied up indefinitely with litigation involving the ex-CEO of the latter Hive Mind (the company).

The battle is over former CEO, Jawad Ansari’s 30% equity stake in the Hive Mind startup. For whatever reason, Ansari was ousted as CEO by the directors (including Will Wright) after two months in the position, and replaced by Lauren Elliott. Ansari is alleging that Wright’s attempt to shut down Hive Mind (the company) and reclaim HiveMind (the intellectual property) to take to market through his Stupid Fun Club business, or Friendly Gravity, which would essentially make Ansari’s equity stake worthless.

According to VentureBeat: Ansari said that Wright tried to push him out of the company and committed an “atrocity” by trying to take away Ansari’s equity. In a memo he circulated to friends and industry executives, Ansari called the dispute a “genocide.”

Strong words – and seemingly more than a little inappropriate. The choice of language alone is unlikely to win Ansari many supporters.

Wright’s attorney insists that many allegations in Ansari’s legal complaint are false.

Additionally, Ansari appears like he may be sabotaging his own lawsuit, as he reportedly recently tweeted, “Looking for PR professionals to build awareness for “THE INCONVENIENT TRUTH ABOUT WILL”, an exposé documentary, releasing on YouTube 6/2012.”

And that alone could significantly undermine Ansari’s case.

As it is, HiveMind (the intellectual property) is frozen. It can’t go anywhere right now. It’s even remotely possible that this dust-up might render it completely inoperable. We’ll have to wait for judges and lawyers to sort this one out.

[Via VentureBeat]