Digital Chocolate Slips the Concrete Shoes on Zynga

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Digital Chocolate Slips the Concrete Shoes on Zynga

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It's more bad news for casual game behemoth Zynga, which has been slapped with a lawsuit by fellow developer Digital Chocolate over its infringing use of the Mafia Wars name.

It's been a bit of a rough ride for Mafia Wars lately. Last week Zynga was threatened with a lawsuit by the city of San Francisco after it glued a pile of fake $25,000 bills to sidewalks in various parts of the city in order to promote the game. It's not as bad as throwing turkeys out of a helicopter but it still turned out to be a pretty boneheaded move, as the cost to clean up all that fake money was apparently pretty substantial. Now the company is looking at another suit, this one filed by a game studio which claims that Zynga has no right to be using the Mafia Wars name in the first place.

Digital Chocolate, a casual game developer launched in 2003 by Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins, released a mobile game called Mafia Wars back in 2004 and claims that it informed Zynga that it holds the rights to the name last year. Zynga allegedly promised to stop using the name but soon after launched a "multi-million dollar" marketing campaign with 7-Eleven and filed two applications to register the Mafia Wars trademark for a range of other products. Zynga has "falsely claimed to the public, the United States Patent Office and the courts that it 'coined' the Mafia Wars mark and owns superior rights to the mark," according to the complaint.

This isn't the first Mafia Wars-related lawsuit Zynga has been embroiled in. It settled a copyright infringement case with the maker of Mob Wars, a similar online game, in September 2009 for an estimated $7-$9 million, and earlier that same year sued rival casual company Playdom over its ad campaign for the game Mobsters. "We are surprised and disappointed by Digital Chocolate's lawsuit," the company said in a statement. "The timing of the action appears to be opportunistic, and we plan to defend ourselves vigorously."

Digital Chocolate is seeking an injunction against Zynga's continued use of the name, the voiding of Zynga's Mafia Wars trademark applications, the transfer of the mafiawars.com domain to its possession, "corrective advertising in an amount double that which Zynga has spent promoting its products and services under the Mafia Wars mark" and all promotional materials - containers, signs, wrappers and the like - containing the Mafia Wars label. Oh, and money, too: "Any and all revenues and profits that Defendant has derived from its wrongful actions," along with treble damages, attorney's fees and so forth.

Lawsuit or not, the odds of Zynga just walking away from one of its most popular games are pretty slim. Call me crazy if you will, but I smell a settlement coming. Digital Chocolate's full lawsuit against Zynga can be found at the Courthouse News Service. (PDF format)

Sources: Courthouse News, Gamezebo

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This game is cursed... CURSED!!!!!

I hope Zynga get their walet raped out by the lawsuite. Then they might know what it is like to be a farmville user.

Andy Chalk:
Digital Chocolate Slips the Concrete Shoes on Zynga

It's not as bad as throwing chickens out of a helicopter but it still turned out to be a pretty boneheaded move,

I believe that turkeys are the proper bird to throw from a helicopter. After all, as god is my witness, i think that turkeys can fly.

Cripes. They can make some damn addictive games, but they can't seem to plan ahead legally for beans. Ahh well. Least they didn't call it Jedi Wars or something. Then they'd really be in trouble.

Ne1butme:

Andy Chalk:
Digital Chocolate Slips the Concrete Shoes on Zynga

It's not as bad as throwing chickens out of a helicopter but it still turned out to be a pretty boneheaded move,

I believe that turkeys are the proper bird to throw from a helicopter. After all, as god is my witness, i do believe that turkeys can fly.

In the words of LittleKuriboh, "Fucking ninja(s)!"
What this guy said; any self-respecting WKRP watcher knows turkeys are where the money's at.

I suppose hoping Zynga dies a painful death because of this is essentially out of the question?

Plan A: Change our name
Plan B: Make a gazillion dollars so that when the time comes, we can just throw a big wad of cash at em or die trying.

Let's go with Plan B?

Digital Chocolate might have had a chance if they didn't come across as being so greedy. I mean, come on, a "corrective advertising" campaign? That's just unnecessary considering their game is over 5 years old.

I can't believe they put out some weird advertising and didn't leave everything ready to clean it up afterwards. That's like Marketing 101. Okay, 103, maybe, but it's still pretty basic: Don't piss off whatever it is you're advertising on.

Digital Chocolate is pretty much pulling a Kotick in here (I coined an expression! Urban Dictionary, here I go!) but I like them better than Zynga so I'm rooting for them.

I wonder if I should wear a uniform and sit on the hearings.

As I stated in a thread about this earlier, Zynga uses the ability "throw some money at it" this ability makes the target do whatever you want in exchange for an amount of cash equal to the difficulty of the task Plus their will save, multiplied by a D100 roll.

I would usually say this kind of thing is petty, and stupid. But since its against Zyanga...im goin to keep shut and watch this ride...

So, Zygna made a game, found out in infringed on someone elses trademark. Rather than rename it, they ignored their cease and desist order and now are suing the trademark holder in an attempt to revoke the rights and re-establish them under their own company header?

In the words of Seto Kaiba the Conqueror:

"SCREW THE RULES, I HAVE MONEY!"

"...the timing of the action appears to be opportunistic and we plan to defend ourselves vigorously."

Said the AIDS patient to the bacteria.

there both evil but i hate Zynga more (i dont care about your lonely cow damnit!!!)

so...

GO DIGITAL CHOCOLATE!

SimuLord:
"...the timing of the action appears to be opportunistic and we plan to defend ourselves vigorously."

Said the AIDS patient to the bacteria.


very good...

Ne1butme:

After all, as god is my witness, i think that turkeys can fly.

Yes... kinda. They are like dwarves of flight, they cant get very high and cant fly very far, but they can do it. I was once on a very long isolated stretch of highway in East Ky, at about 8 am, when I had a flock of the buggers fly over my car. Mind you they actually scratched the roof of my car all to hell because thats about how much height they were getting.

SimuLord:
"...the timing of the action appears to be opportunistic and we plan to defend ourselves vigorously."

Said the AIDS patient to the bacteria.

Ok, that was awesome.

viranimus:

Ne1butme:

After all, as god is my witness, i think that turkeys can fly.

Yes... kinda. They are like dwarves of flight, they cant get very high and cant fly very far, but they can do it. I was once on a very long isolated stretch of highway in East Ky, at about 8 am, when I had a flock of the buggers fly over my car. Mind you they actually scratched the roof of my car all to hell because thats about how much height they were getting.

Or perhaps, that was their idea of vengeance for all the turkeys you and your kin have slaughtered and/or ate... besides, shoving food up the dead body of someone elses family member is a sure-fire way to lead to a keying of your car...

Irridium:

SimuLord:
"...the timing of the action appears to be opportunistic and we plan to defend ourselves vigorously."

Said the AIDS patient to the bacteria.

Ok, that was awesome.

Ten bucks says it gets mod-wrathed for being "offensive", but to hell with 'em. Rule of Funny.

vallorn:
there both evil but i hate Zynga more (i dont care about your lonely cow damnit!!!)

so...

GO DIGITAL CHOCOLATE!

I agree. Its about time someone kicked Zynga's ass in court.

Unfortunately Scamga won't slow down because of this, but we can always hope for a tactical nuclear strike on their offices that cause absolutely no collateral damage to the rest of the world instead.

You just wait until the Italian-American community bring in the racism charges.

The_root_of_all_evil:
You just wait until the Italian-American community bring in the racism charges.

Racism against white people isn't racism. But then again, what do I know, I'm just a stupid polack.

Scrumpmonkey:
I hope Zynga get their walet raped out by the lawsuite. Then they might know what it is like to be a farmville user.

Or an actual game developer.

Don't they give out people personal information? That's lower than Activision.

Ne1butme:

Andy Chalk:
Digital Chocolate Slips the Concrete Shoes on Zynga

It's not as bad as throwing chickens out of a helicopter but it still turned out to be a pretty boneheaded move,

I believe that turkeys are the proper bird to throw from a helicopter. After all, as god is my witness, i think that turkeys can fly.

Turkeys can fly, atleast wild ones.... and it isnt as much flying as it is hopping while flapping their wings to get into trees and gliding down to the ground.

I have nothing else to add to this thread, since the ammount of care I have for any Facebook game is nearly nonexistant.

Does...Zynga actually make games? Or does it just steal them, then advertise them better? Normally, Id be more suspicious of someone calling Copyright Infringement, be more open to convincing, but this is kind of like finding Circumstantial evidence of a murder pointing to a serial killer. Ill still go through the motions of finding proof, but I have an idea of where this is heading.

Well, settlement is most probable course of action. The costs of re branding are stupidly high when you already invested in promoting that name so much, and having to re-do all current campaigns to feature new name is loads of work and money.
But deep down in my evilness i hope that Digital Chocolate won't go for agreement and follow to suit to the end winning the case and cutting off limb from Zynga.

Get owned, biotch. I am happy for Zynga because they are getting their ass handed over to them quite alot lately.

I'm fine with Casual games, but Zynga just has a stranglehold on the market with its constant antics and even then, they often treat their fan base as nothing but cattle. I don't support them and I hope Digital Chocolate gets what they want from this suit (And I also hope that Zynga is forced to change the name to something less appealing )

Yet another lawsuit?

United we can SUE Zygna into oblivion!

Wait, what happened to that other Zynga lawsuit? You know, Zynga vs. Concerned Earth Citizens Against The Slow Death of All Humanity?

Let's see. A privately owned company that is so desperate for cash that they'd put out a game called "American Pie: Naked Run" (yes, it's on the Digital Chocolate website and yes, I looked although I am trying hard to forget) discovers that another company with actual capital in it has decided to turn a practically dead IP into something that will turn a profit.

Gee. I wonder if this is opportunistic. /sarcasm off

Is Zynga a monolithic casual game behemoth? Yes.
Do they deserve to be buggered by every two-penny company and organization that can draw a correlation between them and their content? Yes.
Should this surprise anyone? No.
Will this affect Zynga's growth? No.

Softbank and Google don't throw three hundred million bucks at a company that they think won't survive (link: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/25/business/25zynga.html?_r=2&src=busln&pagewanted=all); They invest in companies that will thrive and Zynga is thriving. If Digital Chocolate was producing, they'd be drawing investor cash instead of filing lawsuits and hoping.

a wild zynga appears! go, Digital Chocolate! digital chocolate uses lawsuit! critical hit! it's super do a barrel roll.

now, i hope all the people that play that would stop offering me stupid weapons.

I hope Zynga loses this, I hate them.

Please,let this be the end of Zynga!!
The ones that sent out their mindless facebook zombies to fuck up the Best Developer contest on these fine grounds of the Escapist,against the mighty army of Valve,and hell,it looked like they won.But in the end,we were victorious,but they really piss me off for that amount of votes.one again,
/rant

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