Zynga Sues Over “Ville”

It appears Zynga believes it owns the exclusive right to any game ending in the term: “Ville”

According to Gameranx.com,  Zygna filed a federal law suit last Friday against Kobojo the maker of the game, PyramidVille.

Zynga says in their complaint:

“Facebook users are likely to believe, erroneously, that PYRAMIDVILLE is a member of Zynga’s ‘VILLE Family of Games,”

In a statement Zynga said:

“Zynga’s “Ville” family includes many well-known games, including FarmVille, CityVille and CastleVille, and the “Ville” suffix is strongly associated by gamers with Zynga.

“Given Kojobo’s refusal to change their game name, legal action was necessary to defend our famous marks and prevent player confusion.”

 

 

Comments

  1. Richard Saperstein says

    Well I won’t be living in my city anymore because it has the word “ville” in it. They might think the city I live in, that’s been here since the Civil War, might be construed as a game.

    Shut it down!

  2. says

    Mike, typo in the Zynga name ;)

    The term “Ville” is linked to several games by Zynga served on Facebook. That’s the key element. Of course, all such games are timewasters.

  3. Amittyville says

    Eye yai yai what a horror
    seems that these definitely need to be addressed and to provide news as well as case history. It seems it getting to ridiculous these days but of course it will hit home more at the time that this happens to a domainers directly.

  4. domainer2 says

    and to add substance this all Zynga’s case is total apeshit, what they are trying to do is if cars.com owner would sue everybody who had cars in the domain: usedcars.com, fastcars.com…… you follow

    to better protect their holy brand they should rebrand their ville games into something non-existent term like ‘schmille’ for example, patent this term , free idea btw, and then they will be able to re-release farmschmille etc…..

  5. BrianWick says

    VILLE – by itself does not genericly represent social networking – Zynga made that happed where cars – are cars – apples and oranges in my opinion.

    So if I used my Townville.com or Carville.com in a similar capacity as CityVille.com – I suppose there could maybe be a claim – but there is another unrelated TOWNVILLE TM – which really fucks things up for for Zynga and their VILLE claim.

    On the other end I do not think Facebook can lay claim to BOOK only being associated to its flavor of social networking – BlackBook and others would make that an uphill battle.

  6. says

    There is nothing wrong with Nashville.com as a geo domain and PornVille.com as an adult site. But if you turn those into online games, particularly via Facebook, where you grow your “Ville” with other players, then Zynga might call you.

  7. says

    The term “Ville” is linked to several games by Zynga served on Facebook. That’s the key element.

    There is nothing wrong with Nashville.com as a geo domain and PornVille.com as an adult site. But if you turn those into online games, particularly via Facebook, where you grow your “Ville” with other players, then Zynga might call you.

    Yup, just like Facebook went after those with face or book whose sites involved social networks. So far Zynga isn’t going after those using ville for something else other than games, so I’m rather not sure why the seeming outrage.

    Rmemeber, folks, it’s about context. One thing I notice, though, that the more unique and famous the mark, the harder it’ll be to use a variation of it for something else.

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