Zynga settles data theft lawsuit with former employee

FarmVille studio reaches settlement with Alan Patmore, who admits to making "serious mistake" by taking confidential Zynga information when he left the company.

Zynga and former general manager Alan Patmore have reached a settlement surrounding a 2012 lawsuit that accused the employee of "wholesale theft" of company secrets after he left the FarmVille studio to join rival gaming company Kixeye.

TechCrunch reports that the matter was settled this week. Patmore said in a statement: "I accept responsibility for making a serious mistake by copying and taking Zynga confidential information when I resigned from Zynga. I understand the consequences of my actions and I sincerely apologize to Zynga and my former colleagues."

Neither Zynga nor Kixeye disclosed terms of the settlement, but issued a joint statement that reads: "Zynga Inc. and Kixeye Inc. have reached a mutually agreeable settlement of their litigation involving Alan Patmore in San Francisco Superior Court."

As reported by TechCrunch, Zynga filed a complaint against Patmore a month after he left the company alleging that he obtained and stored more than 760 documents from his work computer in Dropbox before his final day with the company. Zynga claimed that these files contained design documents for upcoming games, as well as details about monetization plans and compensation information for employees.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

17 comments
blackothh
blackothh

LOL! like zynga has any useful "secrets".....they steal everything from others and all of a sudden get mad when someone steals from them?

jonny_dutch
jonny_dutch

When was the last time Zynga wasn't on either end of a lawsuit? Their legal team must be bigger than their publishing staff.

jinzo9988
jinzo9988

Stealing design documents?  Why would they even have such a thing if they're in the rip-off business?  All they need to do is show their devs a real game and say "there, copy it".  A playable blueprint is better than a written one.

---Cipher---
---Cipher---

Don't steal design documents for their upcoming games! They might lose their edge on adding "ville" to every possible word out there! What would they do if they lost "Jimville" "pony ville" "microtransactionville" or "paywithyourmom'screditcardwhensheisn'tlookingville"?!?!

bouchart
bouchart

All of Zynga's original, proprietary data can fit on an index card and smuggled out of the company in a wallet.

FULGOREY2K
FULGOREY2K

This sounds like the Don's work 

unreal101
unreal101

Yeah, the "big trade secret" that Zynga will be making Farmville 5 would really have changed things.

gatsbythepig
gatsbythepig

Everybody loves bad news regarding Zynga.

Cuthbert1970
Cuthbert1970

@daabulls23 @gatsbythepig...well it could be bad news for Zynga if he decides to leave them too and take their data... not that Zynga would have any data worth stealing

McGregor
McGregor

@Cuthbert1970 @daabulls23 @gatsbythepig He did leave Zynga, and apparently they felt like they had data worth stealing.

As much as I'd love to take confidential documents to get me on the good side of a competitor, it's not worth it...I'll bet this nearly bankrupt him.