Zynga Issues Cease & Desist to Protect "Ville" Trademark

By Steve Watts, Jan 24, 2011 2:00pm PST Popular Facebook game developer Zynga has issued a cease and desist order against Blingville, for its game of the same name. GamesIndustry.biz reports that Zynga claims the "ville" suffix infringes on its trademark.

Legal action began in November 2010, but Blingville looks ready to fight it in court, if necessary. The company has filed for a declaratory judgment that the title qualifies as fair use. The company is also requesting that Zynga be made to pay for attorney's fees and other expenses regarding the case.

Zynga is known for its various social games on Facebook, most famously FarmVille, FrontierVille, and CityVille. The name is a valuable one, as last week we heard that CityVille had grown exponentially in only a few months.

Zynga is probably right that hapless users could be confused into thinking Blingville is part of their family of products, but giving the company ownership of such a common word could have legal repercussions on the burgeoning social games market as a whole. We'll keep an eye on the legal dispute.

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  • Next Headline:

    Zynga is now looking for tribute from the following cities:
    Nashville, TN (and every other Nashville in every other state - there are at least 8 others)
    Knoxville, TN
    Huntsville, AL
    Jacksonville, FL
    Hinesville, FL
    Summerville, SC
    Ashville, NC
    Danville, VA
    Evansville, IN
    Evansville, KY (who cares if it does not exist)
    Belleville, IL
    Janesville, WI
    Bartsville, OK
    Fayetteville, AR
    Greensville, MS
    Victorville, CA
    Porterville, CA
    Watsonville, CA
    Colville, WA

    Tribute is expected in the form of either gold, clicks, advertising, or virtual magic flying frogs and proportional to the number of citizens who have the infringing name on their drivers license or mailbox.

    Round 2 of lawsuits are expected in only a few days after Zynga's new mini-game "Look for the sufex 'ville'" is added to Cityville ... the mini-game is to incorportate zooming into maps.google.com and look for every village, ville, and company that has ville at the end of the name.

    2.3 lawyers and a dancing monkey have been added to the Zynga staff just to handle the new lawsuits.