Blingville. "/> This Ville Aint Big Enough For the Both of us | Gnews

This Ville Aint Big Enough For the Both of us

Tuesday 25th, January 2011 / 15:36 Written by
in Gaming
This Ville Aint Big Enough For the Both of us

Zynga have produced the chart topping browser based games FarmVille, FrontierVille and CityVille. With the “Ville” family and a slew of other well-known games, Zynga have managed to reign supreme over Facebook games with very few blips on the radar to challenge them.

According to Gamasutra, In an effort to maintain this state of affairs, Zynga have has threatened to sue Overtime Apps. This is because Zynga claims that the competing Facebook game Blingville infringes on their trademark rights to use the word “ville” in naming social games.

Although it will take a while for the legalese to be unravelled and a decision to be made on whether the dispute will see any court time, one thing that Overtime Apps does have in its favor is that was registered as a domain name way back in 2004.

This was when Facebook was still a fresh-faced youth starting out on the road to internet conquest. At this time, browser-based social gaming was far from the social network’s top proirity.

Oh, and let’s not forget that this is Zynga, whose CEO Mark Pincus was once quoted in saying:

I don’t fucking want innovation, you’re not smarter than your competitor. Just copy what they do and do it until you get their numbers.

So to turn around and threaten a company with legal action for trademark infringement, given Zynga’s tendency to ahem “borrow” creative concepts, seems a little bit rich.

Still, proving the validity and the time of registration of Blingville‘s own trademark rights will be crucial in deciding whether or not Zynga manages to run Overtime Apps out of… ville.

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About the author

I've been writing fiction (mostly Sci-fi and Heroic fantasy) for the past five years and creating articles for Gnews since July 2010. My favourite aspect of the job is covering the gaming news stories and reviews as I am an avid gamer in my personal life. RPGs and RTS are my chosen speciality with the odd FPS or puzzle game thrown in.

View all articles by Tom Murray

4 Comments on “This Ville Aint Big Enough For the Both of us

  • Hello pot, kettle calling.

    This is pretty outrageous behaviour on Zynga’s part, given their complete disregard for “teeny wenny” details like intellectual property when they’re looking at someone else’s profitable idea, but when someone else is edging around their turf they threaten to release the legal hounds.

  • Zynga is a cesspool of corruption and I hope that if this goes to court they’ll get slapped down for wasting everyone’s time.

  • I would think that Zynga has a pretty loose grip on -ville as a trademark given that Lucas Arts released 2 games that use “ville” in their names before any of Zynga’s games were around, and there is a chain called Gamesville selling games. It just seems that “ville” is a pretty weak trademark to begin with and Zynga may be playing with fire here.


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