Zynga Files Several More Trademark Infringement Lawsuits

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Zynga’s counsel has been busy as of late. While Zynga has been filing and receiving multiple  IP-related lawsuits in recent months, the company has recently filed several new trademark infringement lawsuits against those copying marks found in its top games.

The first of the two suits was filed on July 1st against Philip Labrasca for both the stated infringement and violation of Terms of Service for the top Zynga game, Texas Hold’Em Poker. According the case (Zynga Game Network, Inc. v. Labrasca), the defendant owns and operates 13 different websites that make use of the “ZYNGA” trademark to sell virtual poker chips. The very next day, a second lawsuit was filed against Duc Doan for the same allegations (Zynga Game Network, Inc. v. Doan).

Zynga also filed a couple of other suits earlier in June.

The first, Zynga Game Network, Inc. v. John Does 1-5 was filed on June 2nd. Then, on June 19th,  Zynga Game Network, Inc. v. John Does 1-50 was filed (the term “John Does” means the domain names in question registered “using the Domain by Proxy privacy protection service, preventing Zynga from accessing the name and contact information Defendants used to register the domain names”).

Each of these cases have similar claims. The first five claims below can be found in all four lawsuits (the last two are not charged in John Does 1-5):

  • Trademark Infringement – False Designation of Origin Regarding the Mark: The complaint alleges that consumers may be confused or misled into thinking a connection exists between Zynga and the defendants by the defendants’ use of the ZYNGA mark.
  • Trademark Infringement – Federal Cybersquatting Regarding the Mark: The complaint alleges that the defendants registered domain names with the bad faith intent to profit from use of the ZYNGA mark.
  • California Statutory Unfair Competition: The complaint alleges that by using the ZYNGA mark and selling the virtual chips required for the game the defendants are attempting to trade on Zynga’s goodwill and have gained an unfair advantage.
  • Common Law Trademark Infringement of the Mark: The complaint alleges that the defendants’ use of the ZYNGA mark causes confusion or deception as to the source of, and authorization for, the defendants’ products in violation of California common law.
  • California Common Law Passing Off and Unfair Competition: Zynga is seeking punitive damages for the defendants’ allegedly intentional and malicious actions which Zynga says resulted in an unfair advantage.
  • Breach of Contract: Zynga claims the defendants agreed to be bound by the game’s Terms of Service by participating in the poker game. “By selling ‘chips’ for use in the Game through the Infringing Websites, and by using the Game itself to transfer the ‘chips’ they sell, Defendants have breached the Terms of Service, which specifically prohibit Game users from exchanging ‘chips’ “for ‘real-world’ money or otherwise exchange items for value outside of the Game.”
  • Intentional Interference with Contractual Relations: Zynga alleges that the defendants intentionally acted to induce consumers to breach their contracts with Zynga by selling chips without authorization at a lower price than Zynga offered and by distributing the chips in a manner prohibited by the Terms of Service.

Suffice to say, Zynga is out with a vengeance when it comes to others infringing upon their intellectual property. It’s certainly an interesting time in the space, as a multitude IP-related issues remain far from settled. We’re sure to see many more in the industry in the weeks and months ahead.

[via Patent Arcade]

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6 Responses to “Zynga Files Several More Trademark Infringement Lawsuits”

  1. The fraud prevention battle heats up « The Offerpal Media Blog says:

    [...] prevention battle heats up Posted on July 17, 2009 by myofferpal Inside Social Games is reporting today that social gaming company Zynga has recently filed several (more) trademark infringement [...]

  2. Chris Edwards says:

    I find this kinda funny. Zynga steals game ideas from others all day long however file suit against anyone else for IP problems. Just look at their newest game…FarmVille. That game is almost identical to FarmTown. If someone comes out with a good game, you better expect Zynga to swoop right in create the same game under their brand.

  3. askthepokermaster says:

    Selling Zynga Poker Chips

    Why you buy chips from somewhere that will take your money away?
    if you need very cheap price poker chips with a real dealer
    go to : http://www.askthepokermaster.com

    1M = $4
    5M = $17
    10M = $30
    20M = $50
    50M = $85
    50M > Contact us

    Very fast, secure, warm customer service that will make you feel it
    like deal with you friend.

  4. John Doe says:

    The site in question http://www.facebookpokerchips.com , sells cheap chips.

  5. ozan says:

    hello dear-madam ı am turkey diyarbakır ozan yasan.nevroz1ozan2@hotmail.com about ı am zynga poker terms of serfice and pıroplem.my account 9 months ago by an unfair reason zynga ban was because of.All the details of my account, I’ll try to explain below.They say sales have closed your account because.I did not sell. I certainly did not sell.before closing my account I did not receive any warning.I did not sell the chips.I made my own account a transfer to my other account.I’ve proven themselves this topic.she came to me meile aktifleştirecez account zynga sport is them. tehe end is came not in the.say no one will become an active.but do not open .I transfer my own account on the following would prove.I have too many accounts.kaza_nova2147@hotmail.com chipsguzeli@hotmail.com nubar_yasan@hotmail.com chipsguzeli2147@hotmail.com ozan2147@hotmail.com ozan47211@hotmail.com ozan.yasan1986@hotmail.com mikro_turbo@hotmail.com bawer_yasan@hotmail.com turbo_ozan2117@hotmail.com ozan19_6@hotmail.com penaber_mamoste@hotmail.com ozan.nazo21@hotmail.com ozan.yasan1986@hotmail.comkardelenozan21@hotmail.com ozan1nevroz2@hotmail.com nevroz1ozan2@hotmail.com nevroz5ozan4@hotmail.com and remember more account madığım 4 5.3 account for the ban was not mistaken, I was importing nevroz1ozan2@hotmail.com nevroz2ozan2@hotmail.com nevroz5ozan4@hotmail.com Even if you look at their entry to the accounts of the same name . 3 account must be a reason for this ban.I stationery business. same input from the computer calculates the transfer was made. elsewhere were also made during the transfer are only.I have an internet cafe next to me at a distance of 20 meters neighbors. I might have to transfer there I do not remember.all belong to a person already in the open account name, if you look at.and transfer the accounts there rarely has enteredno playing with the big points.I am originally birthplace turkey mardin/mazıdağı but seats copper land ı turkey/diyarbakır.OZAN YASAN,MY PROBLEMS ZYNGA TEXSAS HOLDEM POKER TERMS OF SERVİCE,I was banned hasabım 8 months ago,Because of an unfair reason,I’m telling them status 8 months,20 times I talked by phone,They’ve activated your account at meile,but my account is still closed,I’m just waiting for 8 months in state,but the solutions do not manufacture,My reason for the ban added,they ‘re selling,ı dont not sell.I transfer my account to their different,I prove it to them,We have open accounts at,they can enter the game zynga sıport,but I still can not enter do not open no,trying to fob me,I already agreed rightly zynga sport terms of services, and no dont no open,this case about me,high-level support from you want plese,or directly to me will take care of this issue principal authority to direct,8 months does not help me a clear,I am going to demand a clear support directorates competent authorities adressıs comıng.What else can I do in case,8 months to wait,I am your customer you,we trust you in your game in your page.Waiting for your help,good work,Have a good day.best regards!!!!!!!!!I know about this picture evidence with full support on this issue where I request to know.Does the legal way. tape with my account login nevroz1ozan2@hotmail.com about.Waiting for reply from you

  6. nanapierce says:

    I was charged on the 27th of may for some thing I do not have I took farmville completely off my facebook do NOT charge me again and please reimburse what you charged

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