Digital Chocolate lays out its Mafia Wars trademark case against Zynga

Updated -- The Blog has obtained a complete copy of the lawsuit that Trip Hawkins' Digital Chocolate served against Zynga earlier this week over the company's use of the Mafia Wars trademark. In it, Digital Chocolate methodically lays out its argument that, "through duplicity and bad faith, [Zynga] effectively hijacked the MAFIA WARS mark" that Digital Chocolate had a prior right to.

According to the court documents (the first 18 pages of which can be found here), Digital Chocolate's use of the name Mafia Wars began in June of 2004, when the company got the game in its acquisition of Finnish company Sumea Interactive. Sumea's Mafia Wars eventually spawned sequels under Digital Chocolate, including Scarlotti's Mafia Wars 2 in 2005 (here's an IGN preview from that game's release), Mafia Wars Yakuza Wars in 2005 and Mafia Wars New York in 2009 (astute observers may see similarities to Zynga's later Mafia Wars Bangkok and Mafia Wars New York in those titles). Though Digital Chocolate's Mafia Wars was never as big as Zynga's, the company claims that two million people worldwide downloaded games in the series (including "hundreds of thousands" in the U.S.)