Morons In A Hurry Can Figure Out That There Are Different Facebook Mafia Games
from the kiss-of-death dept
But the details seem like this is an abuse of trademark law to harm a competitor rather than a legitimate complaint. Zynga's complaint is that Playdom put up an ad that read: "Like Mafia Wars? Click here to play Mobsters. Its [sic] got henchmen, mini games, message boards and sophisticated style." Zynga claims that this is somehow confusing because it doesn't include Playdom's name anywhere. However, it seems abundantly clear that the ad is for a different game and they're just targeting players of Zynga's game. That's not trademark infringement. That's targeted advertising. It's why Pepsi is allowed to run ads trying to get Coke drinkers to switch. You can use the name of your competitor in an ad.
What's especially disappointing is that some of Zynga's investors, such as Fred Wilson and Brad Feld, have long complained about misuses of intellectual property law to stop competition -- and now they're supporting a company that appears to be doing the same thing. It's a waste of money that should be going towards competing and making a better game, rather than worrying about what competitors are saying in their ads.