Zynga Becoming A Trademark Bully: Threatens Blingville For Daring To Use 'ville'

from the get-over-it dept

Zynga is really building up quite a reputation as a trademark bully lately. The company, which also has a reputation for copying everyone else, got into a legal fight last year after it copied the name of its game Mafia Wars, from another company who had that. The two companies had come to an agreement earlier, which Zynga simply decided to ignore. And now it's stretching its trademark bullying in more ridiculous ways, claiming that no one else can append "ville" to any social media game. It sent a cease & desist to the company that runs Blingville (which has had the domain for many years). Eric Goldman alerts us to the news that the company behind Blingville, has hit back by filing a lawsuit against Zynga (full filing embedded below) asking the court to declare that Blingville doesn't infringe on any Zynga trademark. What I really don't understand is why Zynga is acting this way. It has no reason to be a trademark bully, and doing so only makes the company look petty.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: blingville, bully, trademark, ville
Companies: blingville, zynga

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), 19 Jan 2011 @ 10:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's what I'm saying, your slicing the markets too small. You're trying to say that Blingville flash based web game is in a different market from Farmville flash based facebook social game. They're not, they're both just games.

    I guess before I continue with this argument I should probably ask this: What was Blingville in 2004? Was it a web game or was it just a squatters page? There's no information about what was before. If they were a flash based game that decided to move to Facebook, then there's no trademark issue here. If they were a website that sold car parts then recently decided to make a game, then it may be a problem (facebook relationship not required), if we assume that you can trademark *ville.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.