Earlier this month, Epic Games released an update to its widely popular and best-selling video game Fortnite. The “Splash Down” update is a water-themed map for Fortnite’s “Battle Royal” game mode. In the Battle Royal mode, 100 players “splash down” into the virtual world and fight to the death until there is only one player left—the victor. Along with this update comes several new locations on the virtual map, including “Coral Castle” which is the subject of the lawsuit.

The Florida Attraction – Coral Castle

The Coral Castle is a famous Florida tourist attraction known for its sculpture garden. Secretly carved by one man, Edward Leedskalnin, the garden was named “Rock Gate.” However, upon the sale of the property in the early ’50s, the garden was renamed to the Coral Castle. Since then, the Coral Castle has remained a privately owned attraction that sees visitors from around the world. The castle itself has even appeared in Hollywood films, including the location for Billy Idol’s Sweet 16 music video.

Photo of Coral Castle taken from Complaint

The Lawsuit

Earlier this August, Coral Castle, Inc. (the Plaintiff) filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida. The lawsuit alleged trademark-infringement, dilution, unfair competition, and a violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.

The Plaintiff owns two trademark registrations for its museum. In particular, the standard character mark CORAL CASTLE for its online retail store and museum services.  The Plaintiffs allege that the virtual “Coral Castle” in the video game closely resembles the real Coral Castel attraction. In particular, the lawsuit states that the virtual Coral Castle “shares common themes with the real Coral Castle. Both include nautical/beach motifs, castle structures, partial castle walls, and stone objects. Both also invoke the feeling of a centuries-old mysterious place.” See Complaint, pg. 12.

Accordingly, the lawsuit alleges that Epic Games intentionally chose to call its location “Coral Castle.” In doing so, Epic Games intentionally used the goodwill that the Plaintiff has built to promote the new season of Fortnite.


Overall, it will be interesting to see if this lawsuit hold-up in court or if Epic Games decided to simply rename the location to something else.

On a separate note, the lawsuit follows Epic Games’ lawsuit against Apple earlier this month for blocking Fortnite from its app store. Fortnite’s removal from the Apple app store resulted from Epic Games’ attempt to avoid the 30% cut of all in-game transactions that go directly to Apple.