Zynga sues former CityVille GM (now Kixeye exec) for trade secret theft

CityVille Courthouse
CityVille Courthouse

The men and women that built CityVille and FarmVille claim to have noticed funny business just around the time that former general manager of CityVille Alan Patmore left the roost. Social Times reports that Zynga has filed a lawsuit against Patmore, who now works at Kixeye as VP of product, that alleges he stole several documents, violating a written contract.

The suit claims that the former GM uploaded more than 760 documents from his work computer to his personal Dropbox (a web-based file sharing and uploading service) account just before leaving for Kixeye. According to the suit, the documents contained confidential information regarding Zynga's game performance, past and future monetization plans, company revenue information and more.

The documents are also said to include information regarding 10 of the company's unreleased games as well as reportedly every email Patmore ever sent or received while with Zynga. In addition to the lawsuit, the company has filed for a restraining order on Patmore that prohibits him from sharing or using any of his data. Kixeye provided the following statement to AllThingsD:

"Kixeye has nothing to do with the suit," a Kixeye spokesperson said. "Unfortunately, this appears to be Zynga's new employee retention strategy: Suing former employees to scare current employees into staying. They've clearly exhausted other options in their employee retention playbook." We've reached out to Zynga for comment.

Are you surprised at all by the news? What do you think of Zynga's complaint against Patmore? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.

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