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Zynga sues Bang With Friends over copyright infringement

Zynga sues Bang With Friends over copyright infringement

Wed 31 Jul 2013 8:28am GMT / 4:28am EDT / 1:28am PDT
BusinessLegal

Casual sex app maker chose name with Zynga trademark "fully in mind"

Zynga is suing the makers of casual sex app Bang With Friends over copyright infringement.

The name infringes on the 'With Friends' family brand, according to a report by Bloomberg, with Zynga seeking to ban the company (also named Bang With Friends) from releasing any social networking apps along with unspecified damages.

Zynga claims the company chose the Bang With Friends name with the game maker's brands "fully in mind" according to the complaint. Bang With Friends Inc registered its internet domain name last year.

20 Comments

Craig Burkey
Software Engineer

148 105 0.7
Such a generic name, I'd be appalled if this this is upheld.

Posted:8 months ago

#1

Rick Lopez
Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,203 816 0.7
Seriously?

Posted:8 months ago

#2

Andreas Gschwari
Senior Games Designer

542 528 1.0
i guess have to rename my facebook event "beers with friends" :(

Posted:8 months ago

#3

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,716 598 0.3
Good understanding of how a brand works going on here. Not.

If someone was trying to pass off their product on my expensively built and nurtured brand then I would try to stop them. It would be foolish in the extreme not to.

Posted:8 months ago

#4
expensive gamble, I hope they fail. Companies just because they make a few bucks shouldnt be able to copyright the whole freakin english language."With Friends" is a preposition,

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Todd Weidner on 31st July 2013 5:13pm

Posted:8 months ago

#5

Rafa Ferrer
Localisation Manager

40 60 1.5
Gimme a break™.

Posted:8 months ago

#6

Sandy Lobban
Founder and Creative Director

317 174 0.5
Popular Comment
Desperate times. Bang with friends sound like much more fun than any of Zynga's games.

Posted:8 months ago

#7

Anthony Gowland
Lead Designer

155 428 2.8
My first thought on hearing about "Bang With Friends" was that the title was a play on Zynga's series, so I think they're got a point.

Posted:8 months ago

#8

Andrés Cruz
2D Artist - Illustrator

3 0 0.0
This Zynga bullying on suffixes, words and such is getting really annoying. Here at Domoti we had to remove the word Ville, anywhere used on a game because of them. Is nonsense for words that make part of humanity itself.

Posted:8 months ago

#9

Gary LaRochelle
Digital Artist/Game Designer

57 40 0.7
The company (Banging with Friends) was just asking for it. Maybe it's just a PR stunt to get noticed.
They'll probably settle out of court.

If they had named it: "Banging Friends", they might of gotten away with it without the Zynga lawyers jumping down their throats.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Gary LaRochelle on 31st July 2013 6:39pm

Posted:8 months ago

#10

Andrew Goodchild
Studying development

1,199 317 0.3
Is it not a trademark infringement, rather than a copyright infringement as the title indicates?

Posted:8 months ago

#11
"with friends" intellectual property.... really... every time I hear something like this, I get more and more disgusted by it, IP is not an excuse to hog english words that have existed since long before the company that has decided they would like to own them, pathetic, throw out the case and fine Zynga heavily for wasting the courts time and for damage caused to the image of the other company, which should nip this trend in the bud.

Don't those people realise they endangering the very concept of copyright and IP protection every time joe public hears of stupid cases like this his/her gets more and more annoyed with this kinda of stupidity, it will inevitably lead to a backlash, this backlash may well, land companies in very dire position at some future point when this all finally comes to a head, such excesses now will all very severely count against companies in future, they may well be signing the death warrant for protection of intellectual property. Just because the ball is in your court now does not mean you should wack the damn thing willy nilly just because you can, overdoing it will come back to haunt, companies very severely in future.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Alexander McConnell on 31st July 2013 9:56pm

Posted:8 months ago

#12

Jonatan Crafoord
Neuron

33 55 1.7
I'd never heard of this app before today. Now, pretty much every tech publication is covering it because of this story. I think it went a bit like this:

Zynga exec A - "Hey, none of the people on my friends list want to bang me in Bang With Friends. What's up with that?"
Zynga exec B - "Maybe they aren't using the app?"
Zynga exec A - "That must be it! What if we sue the company, give them some free PR?"

Posted:8 months ago

#13

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

1,993 900 0.5
If I was a snarky ass, I'd say the BWF want Zynga to copy them so they can counter-sue and make more money than they do with their game now (har har)...

Posted:8 months ago

#14

Andrew Goodchild
Studying development

1,199 317 0.3
Except no one Zynga has copied so far has managed to sue, AFAIK, hey Greg?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Andrew Goodchild on 1st August 2013 6:41am

Posted:8 months ago

#15

Kingman Cheng
Illustrator and Animator

929 150 0.2
So we got a new 'Edge'?

I might have to have a laugh about this with friends. Although if Zynga will have their way you can't do anything with friends. :(

Posted:8 months ago

#16
"With Friends" has become a brand for Zynga. I think they are seedy industry bully, but "Bang with Friends" is clearly trying to capitalize on Zynga's success with the "...with Friends" series. I thought exactly that the first time i had heard of BwF a few months ago. You could probably make a case why BwF doesnt infringe, but it makes sense for Zynga to protect what they feel are their brands. All businesses do this. It's not like BwF is some indie game Zynga is ripping off.

Posted:8 months ago

#17

Sam Maxted
Journalist / Community / Support

153 62 0.4
I loved part of the reply from Bang With Friends:

"As a technology company, we take intellectual property seriously."

Take that, Zynga!

Posted:8 months ago

#18

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

1,993 900 0.5
@Andrew: Oh, I know. That was part of the joke (but that streak has to end sometime, right?)...

Posted:8 months ago

#19

Keldon Alleyne
Handheld Developer

422 361 0.9
I wouldn't call it capitalising on the brand, it's just funny.

They could have called it "bang buddies", but "bang with friends" sounds playful because "with friends" has an association to a playful group activity. And using an association isn't infringing on a trademark. Also the title just sounds pretty cool.

If words with friends didn't exist, would this have seen less sales with that name? I highly doubt it. But that being said the world is crazy so I'm sure Zynga will win.

Posted:8 months ago

#20

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