Zynga Sues Another "Ville"

Zynga Sues Another "Ville"

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Zynga has filed a trademark infringement complaint against the French publisher of PyramidVille.

You would be forgiven for thinking that PyramidVille, a new Facebook game currently in beta, is a Zynga joint. It doesn't just have the distinctive "Ville" in its title, it very much looks the part, too. But it's actually being developed by French company Kobojo, and that has inevitably led to a dispute with the folks from FarmVille.

Zynga filed a trademark infringement complaint against Kobojo last week, claiming that "Facebook users are likely to believe, erroneously, that PyramidVille is a member of Zynga's 'Ville Family of Games." Interestingly, Zynga doesn't actually hold a trademark on "Ville," although it has applied for one [the application process was suspended by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office earlier this month], but the company claimed in the suit that it has "consistently promoted the 'Ville Family of Games together as a family, identified by the distinctive 'Ville suffix."

Kobojo was asked by Zynga to change the name of its game but refused, perhaps emboldened by the refusal of the makers of Dungeonville and Blingville to give up their names as well. Both of those companies have filed their own preemptive lawsuits seeking rulings that their games do not infringe upon Zynga's trademark; a settlement in the Dungeonville case was reached in March.

Zynga is now seeking triple the profits Kobojo earns from PyramidVille in damages. A "case management conference" between the two companies is currently scheduled for July 24.

Source: Reuters, Network World

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Oh Zynga, nobody likes you do they?

I'm guessing this is the only way they can make money now.

By suing people :D

For people who steal their ideas and most of their games from other developers, this is rich, indeed! I honestly hope Zynga gets bitch-slapped by the courts over this idiocy. It's like Fox news wanting to trademark "Fair and Balanced". :P

Dude Zynga, pot, kettle, black. just sayin'.

So Zynga believes they're entitled to 3x the amount of money Kobojo makes off their game just because it includes the word "Ville", which is a word that Zynga does not own...

If McDonald's couldn't sue Burger King when BK came up with their bastardized version of a sausage egg mcmuffin, Zynga shouldn't be able to sue Kobojo for making a bastardized version of their game. :P

Zynga is STILL trying to copyright "Ville"? What the fuck, they are worse than bethesda's lawyers.

Must resist pointing out how even the French are standing up to Zynga now

...Ooops =(
/satire

I was totally on Zynga's side with this one, ready to come in here and fight on their behalf against the hordes of Zynga haters who would do away with trademark law to spite the corporate money grubbers until this sentence:

Interestingly, Zynga doesn't actually hold a trademark on "Ville," although it has applied for one [the application process was suspended by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office earlier this month]...

If you don't have the trademark, you have no right to file a trademark infringement lawsuit. As messed up and convoluted as trademark law can become, that much is pretty simple.

Carry on, Zynga haters.

The thing that really gets me is that Zynga want triple the profits of the game. That's a majorly dickish thing to do to them when they have no copyright on Ville (which I actually thought Zynga had now.)

I believe the new game is called "Lawsuit-Ville".

UNLIMITED 'VILLE WORKS!
man, being a dev for Facebook must be really hard with Zynga as com...pe...tition?
Does that even count as anything with their current level of quality? O.o

Anyone wanna make VilleVille the game with me? It's about a Ville that builds another Ville named VilleVilleVille and then sues people for using the word Ville... Ville!

judge not lest ye be judged

i would like very much for these wolves to be torn apart by their own kind, because that is as much as they deserve...

Eric the Orange:
Dude Zynga, pot, kettle, black. just sayin'.

My thoughts exactly...

... and my favourite beer to boot! :P

Normally, when I see news like this, I just sigh and sadly move on, but this story legitimately made me angry. I almost can't believe a company like Zynga, which blatantly copies the ideas and even art styles of other, more creative developers, into their games, would try to sue another company for doing the same thing to them to a lesser extent. Then again, what else was I expecting from a company like Zynga?

Daystar Clarion:
Oh Zynga, nobody likes you do they?

I'm guessing this is the only way they can make money now.

By suing people :D

It's still probably a better long-term business model than EA.

Heh, I'm disgusted, but not the least bit surprised. Plausibly the only way I'm capable of feeling about Zynga.

Am I the only one who seems vaguely interested in trying out Pyramidville now, purely in the sense of screwing with the red dog?

EDIT: That is to say, I would if it were available on anything other than the Grand Zuckerberg Database.

A company i don't care about making a copy of a game i hate from a company i hate...
Can't we just put the execs of Zynga and all those ville makers into a pit and let them kill eachother?

No?

Damn...

Huh, I wasn't aware you could literally own a word.

You know what, zynga? You're making enough money on mediocre browser games that are more similar to each other than the CoD games.
You don't own Facebook, nor the word "ville", nor are you the first to come up with that type of game. Stop being such douchebags.

so they steal shit and go ape shit insane when someone else does it too?

zynga has the Munchausen syndrome.

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'I'm Commander Langdell, and this is my favorite enterprise in the gaming industry'

Breaking Future News with Amnestic

Earlier today, Zynga filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Warner Bros. over the TV show Smallville based off of popular DC superhero Superman.

Amnestic Future News (AFN) was unable to reach any people at Warner Bros., with the exception of Jim B. Everyman, a janitor who works at the headquarters. Mr. Everyman reported uproarious laughter throughout the building which lasted all day. Many employees were seen leaving the building still clutching their sides as tears of laughter rolled down their faces. One female employee was heard to yell "They don't even have the trademark!" as she left work that day.

AFN did manage to reach Tim "Edge" Langdell for a quote, who remarked "Pfft, amateurs."

More on this story as it develops.

UPDATE: Reports have come in that two Warner Bros. employees have passed away and a third is in a coma. Warner Bros. spokesperson Jane L. Spins has issued a press release: "At this point, our hopes and prayers are with those who we have lost and those who are still in danger. At this point, Warner Bros. will be filing a counter-lawsuit against Zynga Game Network on the grounds that their trademarker infringment sui-". Ms. Spins then broke into hysterical laughter and required 5-10 minutes to calm down.

"My apologies for the interruption. It is the opinion of no fewer than five independent doctors that the cause of the afflictions which has claimed two lives already is Zynga Game Network's trademark infringment suit, and Warner Bros. hopes to bring charges of manslaughter against the company. Thank you for your time."

LadyRhian:
For people who steal their ideas and most of their games from other developers, this is rich, indeed! I honestly hope Zynga gets bitch-slapped by the courts over this idiocy. It's like Fox news wanting to trademark "Fair and Balanced". :P

Why would Fox news ever want to trademark a phrase that completely opposes their own standards?

Anyway, this makes a lot more sense than when Scrolls was sued for "sounding too much" like The Elder Scrolls. Well, what about all those games with "Dead" in the title? Even still, it's kinda stupid, anyway. It's right on the line, though, as making a game like this seems like a bad idea, anyway. Or, maybe, I'm just really ticked that people on Facebook are CONSTANTLY sending me requests to these "Ville" games, when I don't even HAVE the game application on Facebook.

As much as I hate zynga for being assholes pretty much 100% of the time, I'm going to side with them here. Look at the PyramidVille logo. its clearly trying to look like a Zynga product. There are stupid cases like the Scrolls deal, there are monopoly cases where Zynga sues people for just playing or looking vaguely like one their own, but this seems legit to me. I really think they're just trying to look like Zynga's games to get more players and such.

tl;dr: Fuck you Zynga. I hate you, but I agree with you this one time.

Pyrian:
I believe the new game is called "Lawsuit-Ville".

Oh man, someone should make that game. I would pay money for it!

 

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