There can only be one 'Ville'; FarmVille maker Zynga sends cease and desist to Blingville
And Zynga came down to its people and said, "You shall worship no other 'Villes' beside me." Or something like that. Zynga has issued a cease and desist letter to W. Va.-based Blingville, a social game company with a game of the same name in the works. According to a letter sent by Blingville to W. Va. US District Court, Zynga asserts that Blingville is in violation of the Lanham Act with respect to the former in creating a game with the combination of the letters "ville" in its title.
Of course, Bingville denies the assertion. The document then goes on to read that Zynga's assertions give Blingville reason to believe that the social gaming titan will file a lawsuit against Blingville for trademark infringement. The company goes on to deny any accusations of trademark infringement and asks the court to order Zynga to pay Blingville's legal fees in dealing with the situation.
So, what's the big deal? Well, it's a big deal for Zynga considering a majority of its most popular games use the 'Ville' suffix, namely CityVille and FarmVille. The heart of the Lanham Act is really Sections 43a and 43b, which cover the possibility that the defendant, in this case Blingville, is either likely to cause confusion over the origins of the trademark in question (i.e. the "ville" suffix) or misrepresents the nature of the trademark in advertising.
Translated roughly from legalese, Zynga claims to believe that Blingville is using the "ville" suffix to somehow gain from it--likely because the most popular games on Facebook end in "Ville." Do they have a case? We shall see, but until then, try not to screw with Zynga's methods for success.
[Image Credit: Blingville]
Do you think Zynga was right in sending a cease and desist letter to Blingville? What do you think will be outcome of this if it does go to court? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.