Social gaming company Zynga Inc. is suing the makers of casual sex app “Bang With Friends” for trademark infringement.
Zynga, the California-based company behind popular social games “Words With Friends,” “Chess With Friends,” “Matching With Friends” and “Farmville,” is suing Bang With Friends Inc. for infringing on Zynga’s “with friends” trademark.
The complaint, filed July 30, alleges that the “Bang With Friends” creators chose “Zynga’s With Friends mark in its entirety — to leverage and deliberately trade on the fame of Zynga’s With Friends family of marks in order to get noticed quickly in the sea of Internet applications.”
Zynga is seeking a court order to prevent the company from using the name “Bang With Friends” in connection with “any social-networking applications” in the U.S., as well as unspecified damages, according to the complaint.
Launched in January, “Bang With Friends” is an app that connects Facebook friends interested in casual sex. The app reportedly has more than a million registered users.
Representatives of Bang With Friends Inc. told Mashable earlier this week that the company takes “intellectual property seriously,” adding that it “will evaluate the case in detail” as soon as it receives a copy of the filing.
Trademark expert Roland Mallinson told the BBC that Zynga could be fighting a losing battle.
“The argument is about some quite generic words — can Zynga have a monopoly on ‘…with friends’?” he said. “Just because they might have ‘Words With Friends’ protected does not necessarily mean they can stop Bang With Friends — this would certainly apply in the U.K. and Europe.”
(Hat tip, Ars Technica)