Zynga sues over sex app Bang With Friends

[UPDATE] FarmVille studio launches lawsuit over casual sex app claiming it infringes on Zynga's trademark for its "with friends" suite of games; Bang With Friends Inc. says it hasn't seen the lawsuit.

[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, a Bang With Friends Inc. representative told GameSpot that it has not yet personally seen the lawsuit from Zynga.

"We heard through media reports that Zynga has filed a trademark infringement claim with respect to the 'with friends' part of our name," the representative said. "As a technology company, we take intellectual property seriously and will evaluate the case in detail once we receive a copy. Regardless, we continue to be focused on making our users happy, so that they can help each other be happy."

The original story follows below.

Social game giant Zynga has sued the developer behind casual sex app Bang With Friends, claiming the company's software infringes on Zynga's trademark for its "with friends" suite of games.

Zynga is the owner and operator of various "with friends" games, including Words With Friends and Chess With Friends. According to a complaint filed in San Francisco federal court yesterday (via Bloomberg), Bang With Friends Inc. registered the domain name last year.

According to the complaint, Bang With Friends Inc. "selected the name 'Bang With Friend' for its casual sex matching app with Zynga's game trademarks fully in mind." The complaint claims Bang With Friends directly infringes on Zynga's games Words With Friends and Chess With Friends.

Zynga is seeking a court order to prohibit Bang With Friends Inc. from using the Bang With Friends name in the United States and unspecified damages.

The Bang With Friends app taps into a user's Facebook account and matches people up with other friends who have deemed themselves "interested" in the other person.

Bang With Friends Inc. could not be reached for comment at press time.

Last week, Zynga reported a $15.8 million loss and revealed it lost nearly half of its daily active players year-on-year.

Written By

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

Discussion

306 comments
91210user
91210user

This is a silly lawsuit, I really hope it doesn't materialize! Just because they create addicting games doesn't mean they create and engineer scenario which will attract lawyers to encourage them to expand and show the whole world that bullying in the game industry should be accepted! 

It's a money grabbing con!

FearMe801
FearMe801

Zynga acts like they own "farm" "ville" "friends" "with" etc. in the dictionary. FUCK OFF ZYNGA. just fuck off. anyone can name their own game.

Hurvl
Hurvl

So Zynga is angry because that sex game includes the words "with friends"? While "with friends" is more specific than just "friends" or even just "with", I still feel it's a bit too common a phrase to sue someone. It's not as bad as when Zenimax sued Mojang for using the word "scrolls", but perhaps not far from it. 

Anyway, it's much more amusing than the Zenimax lawsuit, because of the nature of the infringing game. I believe Zynga wouldn't be so angry if the game didn't tarnish the good name of their With Friends franchise (you'd have to work hard to tarnish Zynga, lol). Sounds like Friends With Benefits to me :P (or Benefits With Friends for proper infringement). I can't say I generally defend/root for sex game devs, but I hope they win this case. Mostly because the lawsuit seems ridiculous, but also because I don't like Zynga.

meatz666
meatz666

Gamespot's making up news machine!

saltbalsak
saltbalsak

Do you need to watch an ad before you change positions in "Bang With Friends"?

GH05T-666
GH05T-666

 So no one can ever make anything with 'with friends' at the end of it?
F off Zynga!
You are pure greed!

SpazldNinjaDude
SpazldNinjaDude

Stealing games from other companies, then saying, oh a name in something was used, and it's like ours. Is pathetic, Zynga is like the school bully, but can't bully anyone because everyone laughed at them.

Kingjames11
Kingjames11

If this story doesn't illustrate how morally bankrupt our society is, I don't know what does. What a shitty world this is. Truly.

Talis12
Talis12

Stealing other peoples video games and then bitching about a "name steal"..

That's hot ~ Paris Hilton

GhostHawk196
GhostHawk196

If Zynga believes they'll make a profit from litigation instead of innovation then I want some of that crack they are smoking

Slagar
Slagar

I am currently With Friends.

OMgosh Zynga sues meees. Better patent the dictionary, so that no one else can use any words ever.

Claytonicus
Claytonicus

Lol, i didn't realise that soliciting sex with random strangers was now trademarked. Soon they will have a prostitution app where you can pick and choose your ho's

Khoo1992
Khoo1992

So zynga and their lawyers are going to gang bang BWF?

partybro
partybro

lol Zynga u stole chess and u stole scrabble, ur lucky somebody isn't suing ur ass right now

Mega_Skrull
Mega_Skrull

Disgustingly ironic, I hope they lose

00001919
00001919

Suing everybody - The American dream.

bkohary
bkohary

Should there be a class action with Zynga because you only play with complete strangers. That's false advertising.

bkohary
bkohary

Will Sony and M$ be sued because you're allowed to play with friends?

DuaIFace
DuaIFace

-_- People trying trademark words/phrases...LOL. STFU.

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

So... Zynga steals ENTIRE GAMES (To the point of that being their ONLY business) and shrugs when people complain, then turns around and sues someone for using a "part" of a phrase they use for their games?

Can someone please send their HQ a dictionary or two? Please highlight "irony" and "hypocrite" to make things easier for 'em.

JustPlainLucas
JustPlainLucas

Funny, coming from the company who ripped off Scrabble and made their own boardgame from their app at that!  Zynga doesn't have a creative bone in its body.  It's time for everyone who got ripped off by Zynga to sue them.

sasami_adachi
sasami_adachi

Fascinating. Zynga's normal response would be the creation of a title named FWF that is near identical to BWF. Is this partially due to the DM effect?

DrKill09
DrKill09

Yeah, cause Zynga NEVER stole an idea.  Oh wait, Farmville is a knockoff of Farm Town.  Mafia Wars is a knockoff of Mob Wars, etc.

Hell, every game they "made" were stolen ideas. 

Dragon_Nexus
Dragon_Nexus

PFFFFFTHH

 Wait, Zynga's getting offended over someone stealing their property?

Karma. Is. A. Bi--ii--iiitch

bignick217
bignick217

Wait, wait, wait... Let me get this straight... Are you telling me... That the company that made it's riches by stealing intellectual property from "everybody" else... Is suing somebody for doing the exact same thing they did to everybody else... Wow, that's rich!... Now that really is the pot calling the kettle black.  That's just too damn funny.

iempire68
iempire68

Well I guess this was Don's first order of business to drum up cash.

edgardpoe
edgardpoe

What about "Bang-zinga!" im sure thats very original...

Pie_FOREVER
Pie_FOREVER

That's funny, I guess Zynga also believes Words with Friends didn't infringe or steal the concept of "Scrabble" and that they invented it, too.

zintarr
zintarr

Kevin VanOrd's favorite app?

Moonco
Moonco

Please make Cocaine With Friends

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

Never heard of this app until now lol

blackace
blackace

I remember Michael Buffer's reps tried to sue our online gaming site for using the words, "Let's Get Ready To Rumble" in the review of the "Ready 2 Rumble" game for the Dreamcast. LOL!! Saying the words "Let's Get Ready To Rumble". is a trademark to M. Buffer and the fact we used it in a boxing game is illegal. What a joke. They didn't get a anything from us as we made no profit of the review.

wookiegr
wookiegr

LETS GET READY TO RUMBL..... oh crap, I can't say that either.

lethargicdonkey
lethargicdonkey

People of the internets:

Be careful out there because if you use the phrase " with friends" you just might get sued.

MidnightMeteor
MidnightMeteor

Mattrick moves to Zynga; Zynga sues company; Zynga adopts new title: Mattrick and Zynga With Friends.

Slagar
Slagar

@00001919 That and bombing all the "terrorists". Better behave, or they'll democracy your country real good.

SpazldNinjaDude
SpazldNinjaDude

@DuaIFace Hey you stole my words, I'm going to sue you! I was going to say that! -_- is MINE! so it trademark! I trademarked the use of trademark in any context where trademark is to do with an actual trademark, so if you are speaking about a trademark you are infringing on my trademark. Did I say trademark enough times yet?

Zerabp
Zerabp

@bignick217 Almost the case, the other company just used the name "with friends" which Zynga certainly does not own the sole intellectual property rights to, which means the other company is nowhere near as guilty as Zynga.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@SpazldNinjaDude @Slagar If Bang With Friends Inc. gets a lot of money from this lawsuit, perhaps they can expand the game and call it Big Bang With Friends. That would certainly attract some nerdy people, believing that it has anything to do with the Big Bang theory (the actual theory, not the TV series). It could also be interpreted as allowing group sex, hehe. 

bignick217
bignick217

@Zerabp @bignick217 Oh I completely agree.  Nor do I think they have a shot in hell of trying to claim "with friends" as their own IP.  I just find a huge irony in Zynga suing anybody for any reason related to IP, copyright and trademark infringement.  This is a case where I actually want to see a video of a judge literally laughing them out of the court room.  Not only for the ridiculousness of the accusation, but because of Zynga's own shady current and past business practices.