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Zynga triumphs in Vostu lawsuit

Fri 05 Aug 2011 12:37pm GMT / 8:37am EDT / 5:37am PDT
LegalSocial Network

Brazilian developer ordered to remove games that infringed Zynga's copyrights

Zynga has been granted a preliminary injunction in its lawsuit against Brazilian developer Vostu.

The social giant began legal proceedings in June, filing suit against Vostu for infringing the copyrights on a number of its games.

In addition, Zynga alleged that its product stratgy, branding, mission statement and employee benefits had also been imitated.

"Vostu's business model is simple: copy Zynga's successful games," Zynga's case summary read.

"Vostu has brazenly appropriated the copyright-protected aspects of Zynga's games...with scant effort to mask their strategy, and then offered games virtually identical to Zynga's games to prospective players in the United States and elsewhere."

Vostu defended its position in a filing submitted to the federal court in July. It claimed that Zynga's games integrated "significant aspects of earlier game designs," and branded the allagations as "deeply cynical."

However, Industrygamers reports that a judge ruled in Zynga's favour yesterday, ordering Vostu to remove MegaCity, Cafe Mania, Pet Mania and Vostu Poker within 48 hours or face a daily fine of $11,000.

A statement acquired by the site indicates that the Brazilian developer intends to "vigororusly appeal" the ruling.

"This is a desperate and misguided legal tactic by Zynga, a foreign company with no real Brazilian roots -- a company that has failed to secure a foothold in the local marketplace and failed to win consumers who have clearly shown they prefer the superior games created by Vostu's Brazilian team."

"We are confident the Court of Appeals will reverse the injunction, when presented with Vostu's position and its full story."

9 Comments

Matt Hackett
Game Developer

49 2 0.0
> "Vostu's business model is simple: copy Zynga's successful games," Zynga's case summary read.

Sounds like they are arguing legally against themselves. They're infamous for copying competitors' games. Since they won this, someone could conceivably use this ruling against Zynga.

Posted:2 years ago

#1

Lennard Feddersen
Indie. developer

3 0 0.0
No kidding. Wow. Just wow. How the hell are Zynga successfully positioning themselves as innovators and what was that judge smoking.

Posted:2 years ago

#2

Andrew Bubics
Software Engineer

2 0 0.0
When this story first came up, there were more details about exactly how blatant the copying was: including almost identical artwork, ui layout, and even gameplay bugs. Just look up "Zynga sues Vostu" for comparisons :)

If there were similar cases against Zynga, I'd love to see some comparisons and read allegations . . . people have been talking about it, but not naming names :(

Posted:2 years ago

#3

Nicolai Guba
Managing Director

2 0 0.0
So Zynga aims to establish a precedent against it's own business model? Interesting to say the least....

Posted:2 years ago

#4

Andrew Goodchild
Studying development

1,227 388 0.3
As Andrew Bubics said, whether you find it hypocritical or not (and you probably do) the levels here make it undeniable. But the bit that puzzles me: "employee benefits had also been imitated." Is that a thing? Can you really copyright benefit packages? That makes absolutely no sense, if one company treats it's staff well it is in everyone's interest that as many people copy that as possible.

Posted:2 years ago

#5

Rick Lopez
Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 941 0.7
What the hell was the lawyer on. This is so bizarre considering Zynga made themselves out of copying other games. Its alright for Zynga to copy other peoples games, but not right for people to copy Zyngas games. Wow! just plain WOW!

Posted:2 years ago

#6

Angus Syme
Senior Artist

22 21 1.0
As Andrew said.... that's not copying.... that's almost direct cloning down to the artwork and mistakes made in the game design.

Posted:2 years ago

#7
isnt it plain to see. Zynga profited from its own business model, and is now king of a d*ng hill. Naturally it seeks to protect its lead with all sorts of chimpanzee flinging methodology :)

Posted:2 years ago

#8

Dave Knudson
Sr. Technology Manager

42 7 0.2
Kind of late to this, but sounds like the injunction has already been overturned.

@ Andrew B - This article has the filings from the Vostu counter-suit and example's of games that preceded Zynga's (and Vostu's):[link url=http://techcrunch.com/2011/07/20/vostu-goes-on-the-offensive-against-zynga-this-will-get-uglier/
]http://techcrunch.com/2011/07/20/vostu-g...[/link]

Posted:2 years ago

#9

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