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.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Almost Anonymous (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 3:05pm

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

    You should have gone whole hog on that 'dept' Mike: Let's do MonsterNorthFaceVille!

     

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  2.  
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    cc (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 3:07pm

    Does this mean they'll finally get Smallville off the air? Because if it does, it's probably a good thing.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2011 @ 3:45pm

    Prior art - Commander Keen had a level in it called Hillville.

     

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  4.  
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    Avatar28 (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 3:49pm

    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."

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2011 @ 3:49pm

    Quick, someone register ZyngaVille.com !

     

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  6.  
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    Steven (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 3:50pm

    I could maybe see this if they had a game called "Ville", but ville as a suffix has been done.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ville

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Mar 8th, 2011 @ 3:50pm

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

    You forgot the -book suffix and the i- prefix and the my- prefix.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    johnny canada, Mar 8th, 2011 @ 4:07pm

    Ville

    The french have been using that suffix for years as it mean town.

    Ville du Quebec is about 400 years old

    Ville du Montreal is about 375 y/o

    Boucherville the town is about 300 y/o

    The street Boucherville is the kid on the block at 225 y/o

     

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  9.  
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    Eugene (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 4:27pm

    Re:

    Hey, if it's a game that viciously and mean-spiritedly makes fun of Zynga, it'll count as parody and they wouldn't be able to do a thing about it! >:D

     

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  10.  
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    Chargone (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 4:36pm

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

    myiMonsterNorthFaceVillebook?

     

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  11.  
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    Chargone (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 4:39pm

    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.)

     

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  12.  
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    snarkosaurus (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 4:51pm

    Zynga is eville. That's not news.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Mar 8th, 2011 @ 5:33pm

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

    I've already trademarked that term. You owe me millions of dollars!

    Oh, and Mike is liable as a third party for not preventing you from posting it also.

     

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  14.  
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    Ranzear (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 6:40pm

    If Apple can do with with 'iWhatever', why can't Zynga?

     

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  15.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Mar 8th, 2011 @ 6:51pm

    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.

     

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  16.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 7:16pm

    Attention please

    Cruella to the white courtesy phone. Cruella, white courtesy phone. Thank you.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    David Bolton, Mar 8th, 2011 @ 11:06pm

    These Zynga Ville- ains...

    I registered Glitzville.com 10 years ago and got a bit sidetracked but it's now in development...

     

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  18.  
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    The eejit (profile), Mar 9th, 2011 @ 12:11am

    So Zynga are trying to trademark a French word for town. Seems like prior art to me.

     

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  19.  
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    Snidely, Mar 9th, 2011 @ 12:49am

    If only my parents understood trademark...

    Oh crap. I don't have enough money to defend the pending suit on my name, Neville. Hopefully, Zynga will go after my rich musician cousin Aaron Neville first.

     

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  20.  
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    abc gum, Mar 9th, 2011 @ 5:22am

    I think Elmer FUD missed a thread.

    Certainly he could've made some snide remark about FUDville, talk about a slacker.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Ville, Mar 9th, 2011 @ 5:50am

    Good luck with that

    In addition to french and italian words for houses and cities. There are over 36000 people in state records such as myself with the first name "Ville" in Finland alone.

     

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  22.  
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    sebsauvage, Mar 9th, 2011 @ 6:06am

    Bah.

    Bah... some people even trademarked apple, orange and windows.

     

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  23.  
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    charliebrown (profile), Mar 9th, 2011 @ 7:54am

    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,+Quee nsland,+Australia&aq=0&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=29.716225,86.572266&ie=UTF8&h q=&hnear=Townsville+Queensland,+Australia&ll=-19.257998,146.818542&spn=0.138071,0.338173 &z=12

     

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  24.  
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    Todd Eastman (profile), Mar 15th, 2011 @ 6:28am

    Margaritaville

    Jimmy Buffet should sue, then retire in Margaritaville.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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