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


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  1. identicon
    Cougrrr, 19 Jan 2011 @ 2:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You say that like Zynga invented "ville" as a suffix, though. How can they honestly try to hold claim to exclusivity on a TM that is a suffix used in many parts of the world?

    FarmVille (CityVille, etc.) REPRESENT groups of users acting together to create a "village" atmosphere, hence the ville. As such, they're trying to trademark what... a village?

    You wouldn't say that Nashville, Knoxville, Louisville, and so on have the rights to sue Zynga for digital representations of cities even though they used the names WELL BEFORE 2004. What about papers that wrote about Hoovervilles in the great depression? You wouldn't say that they should be able to sue Zynga.

    They have the TM to their game names, sure, but the suffix they use is a common Latin derived suffix that has been used the world over. Suing based on that is just plain stupid.

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