Digital Chocolate, the mobile and social gaming company founded by Trip Hawkins (also known as the founder of Electronic Arts and 3DO back in the day) has served Zynga with a lawsuit.
The suit purportedly has something to do with trademarks or intellectual properties, but no other details are known at this time. TechCrunch says Zynga has already commented on the suit: "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."
It will certainly be interesting to see if the lawsuit has something to do with Digital Chocolate's patent for "Creation of Game Element using Location Information." Read
Update (1 p.m.): Digital Chocolate is suing Zynga over the name Mafia Wars. From Courthouse News Service:
Digital Chocolate claims it notified Zynga last year that it owned rights to Mafia Wars. Zynga attorneys responded with a letter promising to stop using the name, then the company launched a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign with 7-Eleven to promote the game, and filed two trademark applications to register the Mafia Wars mark for a range of products, from beer mugs and napkins to sweatshirts and hats, according to the 69-page federal complaint...
Digital Chocolate wants Zynga enjoined from using the Mafia Wars name, and ordered to deliver up all Mafia Wars products and "engage in corrective advertising" costing twice what Zynga spent promoting Mafia Wars.
This is all rather ironic considering Zynga sued Playdom in 2009 for stepping on Mafia Wars' toes with advertising for its mafia-themed social game called Mobsters. We will continue