Zynga Tries To Trademark 'Ville'

from the there-go-my-plans-for-faceville dept

Back in January, we wrote about Zynga — who had a reputation for copying the games of lots of other companies, including a blatant copying of the name “Mafia Wars” from another gamemaker (for which Zynga just settled a lawsuit) — and was now becoming quite the trademark bully itself, specifically going after Blingville, for daring to use the suffix “ville.” Zynga has no registered trademark on “ville” (though, in trademark law, you do not necessarily need a registered mark, and can quite frequently get by with a common law mark), but the folks over at Fusible have noticed that Zynga has recently filed for the trademark on “ville” in Europe. The application is to cover three different classifications, including for online computer and electronic games (of course). Once again, this seems pretty extreme. The suffix “ville” is hardly unique to Zynga, and it shouldn’t be allowed to monopolize it like this. Hopefully the application is rejected.

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Companies: zynga

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Comments on “Zynga Tries To Trademark 'Ville'”

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24 Comments
Avatar28 (profile) says:

so many villes

So, I suppose if Nashville had a Facebook game Zynga would try to sue them for daring to use their own name. Never mind that I’m pretty sure the city has about 200 years of prior claim on the name. Or even the TV show “Nashville Star” for that matter. Wonder if they will start trying to extort real life cities and events for using a city name ending in ville in the title. I’d sort of like to see that argument in court.

“Your honor, this municipality is unfairly using our client’s trademarked ‘ville’ in their name, causing them irreparable harm.”

“The city has been there for 200 years, your client has only had the trademark for 2 years.”

“But..but trademark.”

Chargone (profile) says:

Re: Ville

… heck, we’ve got townships (think villages that don’t necessarily actually contain anything but a hub intersection for the local farming area and maybe a church, school, shop, and/or petrol station, which except for the last, may all be on different side roads out of sight of the main one. in some cases the only noticeable indication the place exists is the sign) here in NZ… some of their names end in ‘ville’ as in ‘village’. (a township is basically anything too small to be labeled a town that none the less does function as if it were one. villages are included.)

Lawrence D'Oliveiro says:

As I Understand It ...

… a trademark has to be kept distinct, it can?t be run into other words. Thus, ?Farm Ville??probably OK, ?Farmville??not.

I remember this came up a few decades ago, when (later-absorbed-by-Compaq-which-was-in-turn-absorbed-by-HP) Digital Equipment Corporation made various models of computer terminals named the VT52, VT100, VT220 and so on, and tried to trademark that ?VT? prefix. They couldn?t.

charliebrown (profile) says:

Townsville

Have you ever heard about Townsville? No, not the city that the Powerpuff Girls live in. This is a city where people can live, go to work, socialize, make friends, etc, etc. Sound like a Zynga game yet?

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Townsville,+Queensland,+Australia&aq=0&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=29.716225,86.572266&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Townsville+Queensland,+Australia&ll=-19.257998,146.818542&spn=0.138071,0.338173&z=12

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