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Farmville Maker Zynga Sued Over Patent Infringement

History books – if they haven't already – will probably label the 1980s as the "Music Video Era" followed with naming the '90s as the "Dawn of the Common Internet." For the 2000s? That will probably be labeled something like the "Dawn of the App" whereas our current decade, the 2010s, will surely go down in history as the "Age of Patent Infringement Lawsuits." Disagree? Just look at the headlines each week.

Here's one fine example: while Markus "Notch" Persson is currently offering to settle a dispute with Bethesda outside the court system (in a game of Quake 3 Arena no less), Pantheon developer Agincourt Gaming has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Farmville developer (and Facebook sidekick) Zynga. Both of these headlines, probably out of many, appeared just on Wednesday alone.

While the "Scrolls" subject was covered in another post, the complaint against Zynga was filed earlier today in U.S. District Court in Delaware. According to Reuters, Texas-based Agincourt Gaming claims that it "owns foundational patents that claim priority back to 1996 and cover the processes for credits-based online gaming and a prize redemption system based on the outcome of game play."

The lawsuit alleges that twelve Zynga games violate its patents including FarmVille, Mafia Wars, FishVille, and Zynga Poker. According to a recent filing by Zynga with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company's internal valuation is currently at $11 billion. Agincourt Games alleges that Zynga's rapid growth isn't driven by its own ingenuity.

"Rather it has been widely reported that Zynga's business model is to copy creative ideas and game designs from other game developers and then use its market power to bulldoze the games' originators," the complaint reads. "Consistent with this reported copycat business strategy, Zynga has also violated Agincourt Gaming's intellectual property rights."

Ouch.

In addition to the financial damages, Agincourt Gaming is requesting that Zynga shut down the twelve games listed in the lawsuit. As of this writing, Zynga has not responded to the lawsuit.

The case is Agincourt Gaming LLC v Zynga Inc, U.S. District Court, Delaware, No. 11-0072O.

  • silver565
    Oh for gods sake... This constant "Let's sue everyone" thing is really starting to become stupid
    Reply
  • illo
    i need to jump on this bandwagon.
    Reply
  • borisof007
    Jesus, even the name of the company has "court" in it.
    Reply
  • megamanx00
    Software patents are bad. This lawsuit is crap
    Reply
  • cognoscentiable
    I know it's getting boring... why are companies and corporations so whiny nowaday's, what happened to just adapting to the competition?

    Maybe I just wasn't aware of most of the past lawsuits before Apple owned rights to the rectangle.
    Reply
  • pepe2907
    "even the name of the company has "court" in it"
    It's a historical name related to the 100 years war, and to a french city of Azincourt nothing to do with the judical courts.
    For the first time I am happy to read an article for license infringement lawsuit. :)
    Reply
  • Kileak
    They will Age-in-court.
    Reply
  • lp231
    I'm going to sue every pen maker out there for patent infringement because I have created a pen that allows writers to write in curves and all of them are coping my idea which was patented during 100 B.C.

    Imaging going to a fair and every vender is suing the other for give out prizes to winners.
    Hey you can't copy my "you get a price if you win" idea, I'm going to SSSSUUUUEEEE joo!!!!
    No it's my idea, I'm going to sue you!
    3rd vendor yelling from inside Honey Bucket, I'm suing the both of yA!!!!!!


    Reply
  • lp231
    should say copying no coping
    Reply
  • campb292
    check out www.microsoft.com

    thats be broken for about an hour now lol .
    Reply