Social Web Game Company Digital Chocolate Files Suit Against Zynga for Mafia Wars

By
Casual iPhone games publisher, Digital Chocolate, is going after its high-profile competitor, Zynga, in court. Digital Chocolate is known for the games found on the Web, Facebook, Xbox LIVE and a full range of mobile phones (including the iPhone). The company believes Zynga has violated its intellectual property rights and/or trademarks. 

The story was first reported in TechCrunch, although specific details surrounding the suit seemed to be out of reach at initial reporting. For its part, Zynga has already made a comment, although has refused to share details about the point of the lawsuit.

The only thing we know right now from this company is that Zynga is surprised and disappointed by the lawsuit and referred to the timing as opportunistic. Zynga plans to defend itself vigorously.In court documents obtained by TechCrunch, it seems that Digital Chocolate is filing suit over the Mafia Wars patent. The company maintains that Zynga “falsely claimed to the public, the United States Patent Office and the courts that it ‘coined’ the Mafia Wars mark and owns superior rights to the mark.” 

Digital Chocolate, it seems, holds the rights to the name Mafia Wars – a mobile game that is largely unknown compared with Zynga’s raving success by the same name. Digital Chocolate also claims that it notified Zynga of the naming conflict last year and that it was told in writing that Zynga would stop using the name – which it clearly did not. 

It appears that Digital Chocolate does hold a couple of trademarks in the United States and a quick check through Google Patents search (completed by TechCrunch) revealed that only one patent has been issued to Digital Chocolate. This patent was published in 2006 and listed William “Trip” Hawkins as one of the inventors. Hawkins is the founder of Digital Chocolate and former founder and CEO of Electronic Arts.

In March, Digital Chocolate announced the launch of Safari Kingdom on Facebook, the leading social networking site. Safari Kingdom will give users the chance to create and build their own safari while they care for different wild animals.Is it possible that Digital Chocolate resents the success Zynga has had on Facebook while its own apps have largely gone unnoticed? If not, why did the company wait so long to file this lawsuit? Only time will tell if it holds weight, but it may leave some wondering about motive.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TechZone360 and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Erin Harrison
Get stories like this delivered straight to your inbox. [Free eNews Subscription]

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Shabodi Accelerates Adoption of Network-Aware Applications with CAMARA API Enterprise Reference Implementation

By: Special Guest    2/16/2024

Shabodi, an Application Enablement Platform (AEP) provider unleashing advanced network capabilities in LTE, 5G, 6G, and Wi-Fi 6, announced they have l…

Read More

How Much Does Endpoint Protection Cost? Comparing 3 Popular Solutions

By: Contributing Writer    2/2/2024

Endpoint protection, also known as endpoint security, is a cybersecurity approach focused on defending computers, mobile devices, servers, and other e…

Read More

What Is Databricks? Simplifying Your Data Transformation

By: Contributing Writer    2/2/2024

Databricks is an innovative data analytics platform designed to simplify the process of building big data and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions. …

Read More

What Is Blue/Green deployment?

By: Contributing Writer    1/17/2024

Blue/green deployment is a software release management strategy that aims to reduce downtime and risk by running two identical production environments…

Read More

The Threat of Lateral Movement and 5 Ways to Prevent It

By: Contributing Writer    1/17/2024

Lateral movement is a term used in cybersecurity to describe the techniques that cyber attackers use to progressively move through a network in search…

Read More