Rumor: Zynga's Next Big Game -- PetVille
Check out Breaking News: PetVille launches on Facebook
We were tipped off to a document today that shows Zynga has applied for a trademark on the name "PetVille" in the UK.
The application was filed with the UK Intellectual Property Office on September 7, and was reportedly listed in the UK Trade Marks Journal in October 2009.
*The art above is not the logo for the game.
The document says the trademark can be used for "Downloadable computer game software for use on wireless devices and computers; computer game software, video games, online games, and game related applications... ' and "Entertainment services, namely, providing computer games, enhancements for computer games, game applications and development tools... providing an Internet website portal in the field of computer games, gaming, social networking and virtual communities..."
We also ran a search through the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, and found no publicly available documents linking Zynga to a trademark application for PetVille in the the states. That doesn't necessarily mean that this process isn't in the works, but this is based on the information currently available on the USPTO Web site. Update: We contacted Zynga
It's not totally out of the realm of possibility that Zynga would be thinking about launching a pet-based game. If you look at the company's existing portfolio, a pet game would be a welcome edition, especially considering the success of Playfish's Pet Society and some positive buzz around the new Happy Pets game from CrowdStar.
This also follows a well-established pattern for Zynga (and to be fair, many other social gaming startups) -- launching games inspired by others. FarmVille has been called out for being a little too similar to Farm Town and was also slapped with a lawsuit that claimed Mafia Wars was a copyright infringement of text-based gangster game, Mob Wars.
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