Social gaming giant Zynga has recently filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against France-based Kobojo over the latter’s release of their game, PyramidVille, which is available on Facebook, as well as iOS.
Zynga isn’t amused with the name Kobojo has chosen for their game, as Zynga has created and launched several ‘ville’ games over the past few years, such as Farmville, Petville, and CityVille. The lawsuit against Kobojo was filed in the United States, and Zynga alleges that Kobojo intentionally violated trademark rights to exploit the company’s “hard-earned reputation in the social gaming space.” Zynga alleges that Kobojo’s PyramidVille will add confusion to gamers’ current association with “Ville” and Zynga.
Could this trailer for PyramidVille be mistaken for a Zynga game?
Despite Zynga’s plea, Kobojo has refused to change the name of their flagship title. PyramidVille, which already has over six million players between the Internet and mobile devices. In addition to a name change, Zynga is also asking for damages, “including without limitation three times the amount of any and all profits realized” from Kobojo’s use of the name “PyramidVille.” You can view Zynga’s full complaint here.
Kobojo isn’t a random shady developer. Microsoft is one of Kobojo’s backers and their chairman is Electronic Arts’ former vice president of international publishing. You can argue that it’s just a name that Zynga is fighting over, but then there are cases like these, in which questionable developers knowingly create apps and games that take advantage of customers.
Do you think Zynga has a just cause for filing this suit against Kobojo?