If there are some things myself, and I’m sure many others are… aware of on Facebook, it’s the presence of a vast selection of quizzes, apps and a few games that are liked by all who are willing to try them, FarmVille being the likely time-stealing culprit. But now it looks like the company behind the popular farming game is getting sued for its game, Mafia Wars, or the name to be more precise.
Digital Chocolate, which is a company owned by Trip Hawkins, who is also responsible for EA, is suing Zynga for stealing the name of their previously trademarked mobile game. With this lawsuit, Digital Chocolate wants Zynga
“Enjoined from using the Mafia Wars name,” “ordered to deliver up all Mafia Wars products,” and “engage in corrective advertising costing twice what Zynga spend promoting Mafia Wars.”
Digital Chocolate went on to say that they had contacted Zynga with a letter, letting them know they were trespassing on trademark rights, and in return they were told that Zynga would stop using the name. Guess not, DC. A Zyna rep has told Joystiq,
“We are surprised and disappointed by Digital Chocolate’s lawsuit. The timing of the action appears to be opportunistic, and we plan to defend ourselves vigorously.”
Now this is without saying that Zynga has in the past been accused of copying other games and making bank off of them. In fact Mafia Wars has been in question when it comes to how similar it is to David Maestri’s Mob Wars. Even FarmVille has been said to be the evil twin of Farm Town.
Here’s the kicker:
In the United States Patent and Trademark Office, it lists Zynga’s first filing date for a game under the name “Mafia Wars” as July 1, 2009. But if you look for Mafia Wars being trademarked by Digital Chocolate, you would find nothing. Interesting, isn’t it?