Tables Turn as Zynga Files Infringement Lawsuit

Video Game Law Blog

June 20, 2011

Game developer Zynga (who we recently blogged about for being on the wrong end of a lawsuit alleging infringement of intellectual property), is suing Brazil-based social game developer Vostu, claiming the company not only infringed its copyright in multiple titles, but also copied its "specific business model and product strategy".

In Zynga's claim filed in US District Court in California, the creator of social games such as Farmville and Cityville alleges that Vostu's games are not only identical copies of Zynga's most popular titles, but that "Vostu has meticulously studied and copied the material details of Zynga's business", including Zynga's mission statement and employee benefits. Zynga alleges that Vostu has even copied Zynga's philanthropic arm that enables players to raise money benefitting relief efforts through their game play, and its logo.

In response, Vostu has denied the allegations, claiming that "Zynga has been accused of copying so many games that they've sadly lost the ability to recognize games like ours that are chock full of original content and have been independently created. Vostu has 500 brilliant employees working night and day making hand drawings and writing proprietary code for online games that our 35 million users worldwide enjoy."

"Zynga's anti-competitive effort to bully us with a frivolous lawsuit — especially when we have some of the same key investors — is pathetic. While Zynga plays games with the legal process we will continue focusing on using our substantial resources to create games that entertain our customers."

Coverage here and the formal complaint here. See Vostu's statement at 1UP here.