We've been on pins and needles since last May, when we first heard about former NCAA football player Samuel Keller's lawsuit against EA, which claimed that his likeness and the likenesses of his former athletic colleagues had been used in the company's games without permission. According to court documents obtained by Patent Arcade, there was a development in the case last week: The U.S. District for the Northern District of California denied EA's motion to dismiss Keller's claims outright.

According to the aforementioned court documents, EA's defense claimed the NCAA series' in-game players were subject to "significant transformative elements," which allowed the title to be protected by the First Amendment. The court saw differently, however, ruling that "EA's game goes beyond mere reporting of 'just the players' names and statistics; it offers a depiction of the student athletes' physical characteristics and, as noted, enables consumers to control the virtual players on a simulated football field."

In short, Keller's complaints have garnered some traction in the California court. We'll likely be hearing more on this case -- we just hope we don't have to wait eight and a half months before the next update comes.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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