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Zynga threatens to sue publisher of "Blingville"

Zynga, after becoming the most famous social gaming publisher thanks to FarmVille, CityVille, FrontierVille, FishVille, YoVille, and PetVille, has threatened a company with the audacity to use the "Ville" suffix in a game.

Zynga has reportedly threatened to sue Overtime Apps, creator of Blingville, unless it changes the name of its game. The accused issued a response, saying:

"Zynga does not own and has not registered or applied for any trademark registrations at the USPTO for any trademark rights in the word 'Blingville' or any word marks similar thereto...Blingville's use of the trademark 'Blingville' in its social networking game constitutes a fair use of the trademark."

Overtime Apps may claim that it doesn't have ulterior motives, but it's hard to imagine that it didn't use "Blingville" because of the recognition of Zynga's games... but is it really fair to prevent other companies from using an extremely common five-letter town name suffix? If Overtime is actively attempting to create confusion, we guess there's a case, but still... really? My town in Animal Crossing was called CoolVille - it's not as if Zynga was the first to use the suffix. Remember the "edge" nonsense?

Next time, if you want to keep your trademarks safe, come up with something actually unique. You can't use a completely generic, uncreative term for your product and then expect nobody else to use an equally generic name. The world just doesn't work like that.

Then again, Zynga probably has some pretty powerful lawyers, and, being smaller, Overtime Apps may want to avoid the cost of a legal battle all together. So... we guess the world does work like that, sometimes.

[Source: Gamasutra]

Jan 25, 2011

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15 comments

  • Rivenscry - January 26, 2011 1:51 p.m.

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha That is all. (Sorry)
  • jmcgrotty - January 26, 2011 7:33 a.m.

    Who gives a damn? You guys are acting like you even think Facebook is worth talking about. You don't really use it, do you? Crap people, grow the hell up.
  • smiliesnorg - January 26, 2011 1:27 a.m.

    http://www.zombievilleusa.com/zombieville1.html http://poisonville.com http://www.lucasarts.com/games/thrillville/ http://www.buildabearville.com/ http://www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/7612/vampireville/index.html http://www.vampire-ville.com/indexen.php http://mafiaville.com http://www.facebook.com/dumbville http://apps.facebook.com/driverville/ bikiniville http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=102781929767751 http://www.gamersenterprise.com/play.php?act=play&id=874&name=Hunts-Ville http://www.ezzal.com/24791/games/adventure-games/weird-ville.html http://apps.facebook.com/bakra_ville/index.php/ careville http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=110224295684289 http://apps.facebook.com/ma_ville/dispatch_home.php?welcome=1 beachville http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=111034488929851&ref=appd http://www.trademarkia.com/crimeville-77890086.html LOL at Zynga filing a trademark days after Funzio http://www.trademarkia.com/spaville-77903877.html This aggression will not stand. Do not go down this road Zynga. You do not own the free speech, the pursuit of happiness or property of 7 billion people of humanity On should not that even in the facebook ecosystem, just a part of the social graph, games with the ending of city and life, like Train City, Paradise Life, Sorority Life, Crime City comes from different developers and even Playdom didnt start trying to take a dump on people LOL @ Zynga claiming to own a naming scheme centuries old. Jay Monahan you're a scumbag
  • yasmarc - January 25, 2011 11:58 p.m.

    Also Louisville, Kentucky is being required to change their name; same for the baseball company.
  • D0CCON - January 25, 2011 11:20 p.m.

    I liked how you brought up Animal Crossing (I named my town Funville). Zynga can bite my ass.
  • oddprophet - January 25, 2011 11:17 p.m.

    I have to resist making a reference to "The city of townsville" because the Powerpuff Girls is clearly too manly for a man of my stature...
  • Mode - January 25, 2011 10:03 p.m.

    All hope is lost.
  • EnragedTortoise1 - January 25, 2011 8:44 p.m.

    Fucking hypocrites.
  • oryandymackie - January 25, 2011 8:38 p.m.

    Welcome to Facebook.
  • Phoenix4 - January 25, 2011 8:25 p.m.

    actually i meant smallville copied zynga !
  • Phoenix4 - January 25, 2011 8:24 p.m.

    SMALLVILLE IS A COPY OF ZYNGA , END OF STORY !
  • 04whim - January 25, 2011 8:20 p.m.

    2 words... Zynga, drown.
  • Cyberninja - January 25, 2011 8:16 p.m.

    this is the same exact thing that happened with nintendo: universal sued nintendo for using kong in donkey kong but since they didnt own the domain kong they lost badly so Zynga is just going make them rich instead of getting money. oh the irony.
  • festafreak - January 25, 2011 8:14 p.m.

    What about all the tycoon games? I say QQ more zynga.
  • TheCakeIsaPie - January 25, 2011 7:30 p.m.

    Awww, how sad. Zynga is being copied. :( [end sarcasm]

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