According to Zynga's claim (found in the document filed in San Jose district court), its audience could be confused by the use of "Ville" in PyramidVille, thinking that Zynga had made the Egyptian simulator game. You see, Zynga believes that it has created a brand in slapping "Ville" on the end of the majority of its games.
For Kobojo to do the same makes it seem as if--at least to Zynga--that the game maker hopes to draw in players based on name alone, since several games ending in "Ville" are highly successful. Too bad all of those highly successful games are Zynga-made. This is the exact claim Zynga has lobbied at the creators of DungeonVille and BlingVille before that. Justia reports that the former has seemingly already settled, though BlingVille, LLC is still in litigation.
Regardless of the case, the question still stands: Can a company trademark a portion of a word as a brand? The first step in answering that question is for at least one case to settle publicly. (The terms of the suit between Night Owl Games and Zynga were not disclosed.) Grab the popcorn--this could be a long one.
Are you surprised to see PyramidVille get slapped with a lawsuit? Who do you think is in the right in this case? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.