02/14/2011 08:12:00 AM EST
Zynga Lawyer Responds to Blingville Lawsuit
Does use of the name "Blingville" by a small
game developer from Harpers
Ferry, West Virginia, infringe the trademark
rights of Zynga, creator of FarmVille? Does Zynga have a monopoly on Facebook
applications ending in "ville"? Blingville has filed a declaratory judgment action in the Northern District of
West Virginia to find out.
Zynga's games have been extremely popular - and
profitable - on Facebook in the last two years. The company says it has more
than 295 million monthly active users on site for its six games -- CityVille,
FarmVille, FishVille, FrontierVille, PetVille, and YoVille. Blingville is just
getting started with commercializing its game. It says another company,
Overtime Apps, registered the Blingville.com domain name in October 2004 and
that in November 2010, it filed a trademark registration application for the
use of the name. Then, according to Blingville, Overtime Apps assigned its
rights in the trademark to Blingville.
When Zynga got wind of what Blingville was doing, it sent several cease-and-desist
letters to Blingville, claiming trademark
infringement and threatening to sue for alleged violations of the Lanham Act.
"Use of the name," Zynga's deputy general counsel told an online magazine, "is an obvious attempt to
capitalize on the fame and goodwill associated with Zynga's family of 'ville'
games which includes FarmVille and CityVille. We are prepared to take all
necessary steps to protect our intellectual
Read the rest of the article at the Virginia
Business Litigation Lawyer blog
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