Zynga sues French startup over "Ville" game

Posted at 05/08/2012 1:15 PM | Updated as of 05/08/2012 1:15 PM

SAN FRANCISCO - Zynga is out to strip "Ville" from the name of a social game made by French firm Kobojo on the grounds it piggybacks on a line of its titles including "CityVille" and "FarmVille."

Zynga filed a trademark infringement suit against Kobojo in a San Francisco federal court on May 4, asking a judge to bar the Paris-based game studio from calling its online title "PyramidVille" in the United States.

Zynga, which has its headquarters in San Francisco, is also asking for unspecified cash damages and for Kobojo to avoid using "Ville" in titles of games.

Kobojo and Zynga both make games to be played online with friends at leading social network Facebook. Kobojo has seemingly shirked off Zynga's demand that it rename its game, and come out with versions tailored for play mobile devices, according to the suit filed by Zynga attorney Dennis Wilson.

Wilson argued in court paperwork that it was a "willful violation of Zynga's trademark by a competitor seeking to exploit Zynga's hard-earned reputation in the social gaming space."

Zynga rose to success on the popularity of its free-to-play games at Facebook and recently launched its own online playground at zynga.com. Zynga became a publicly traded company in December.

Kobojo launched in 2008. "PyramidVille" challenges players to build a virtual Egyptian city.

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