Zynga Files Trademark Suit v. French Game Maker Over ‘Ville’

Zynga, the online game maker of multimillion-dollar blockbuster games like FarmVille, Mafia Wars, and Words with Friends, sued French gaming company Kobojo today for trademark infringement over the company’s Pyramidville game (see it below).

At issue are Zynga’s trademark claims to all games ending with ville, the French word for town or village. Sacré bleu!

Zynga appears to be facing an uphill battle, however. Last month the USPTO sent the company a suspension letter halting the game maker’s attempt to trademark the word Ville. on hold.

Will the USPTO put a stop to Zynga’s efforts to control all things ‘ville’?

Is any ‘ville’ safe? Dr. Suess’s Whoville, vaudeville, or California’s historic Placerville town from the Gold Rush era?

The problem with Zynga’s ‘ville’ empire, however, is that it can’t trample the intellectual property of other ‘ville’ holders.

This is not the first ‘ville trademark lawsuit involving Zynga. There are a host of similar cases that are either pending, or have already been settled.

This blog previously explored trademark lawsuits filed preemptively against Zynga by Blingville, LLC, the maker of Blingville, and Night Owl Games, LP, maker of Dungeonville. The game makers in those cases each sought a declaratory judgment in federal court that their games did not violate any of Zynga’s marks.

Blingville is still litigating with Zynga over its use of the word ‘ville. Night Owl Games and Zynga appear to have settled their litigation in March for undisclosed terms.

Read Zynga’s new trademark lawsuit attempting to stop Kobojo from using the word ‘Ville’ in its Pyramidville game.

Complaint (Zynga, Inc. v. Kobojo SAS)

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