WTO Intellectual Property
Agincourt Gaming, a new player into the social-gaming sector, filed a lawsuit on August 17, 2011 blaming Zynga of violating two patents.
The company, whose web site flaunts a game on Facebook called Pantheon, demands undisclosed monetary damages and a permanent ban against Zynga, an $11bn company and, one of the Web's popular social-network game developers. Zynga officials were not instantly available for comments.
Agincourt, which is in the social-gaming space, said it owns original patents that claim priority ranging back to 1996 and covers the processes for credits-linked online gaming and a prize awarding system based on the play's outcome.
According to one of the copy documents of Agincourt's complaint, the company argues that Farmville, Mafia Wars, Fish Ville, and Zynga Poker, among other games, infringe upon its patents.
The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court of Delaware.
In the complaint, Agincourt points out that Zynga has seen fast growth and that the company's games on Facebook had over 270 million monthly active users as of June 2011.
But Agincourt has claimed that Zynga's spectacular growth has not been driven by its own prowess. Instead, it has been widely seen that Zynga's business model is to imitate creative ideas and game graphics from other game developers, and then leverage its market base to obliterate other games' originators.
The recent increase in patent litigation has given rise to controversy with many renewing calls for a revamping of patent laws. Zynga has also filed a case to protect its intellectual property rights. In June 2011, the company filed a case against Brazilian social-game developer, Vostu for copyright infringement of Zynga's most well known games.
Zynga - Official website
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