Zynga Sues Bang With Friends

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Zynga Sues Bang With Friends

Bang With Friends title image

Zynga says the Bang With Friends "casual sex app" infringes upon its trademark for "With Friends" games.

I've somehow managed to avoid all knowledge of Bang With Friends until now, and for those of you out there who are in the same boat, let me lay it out. First, you grab the app, and then you use it to select which of your Facebook friends you'd like to have on your co-ed chesterfield rugby team. You then wait for them to do the same, at which point it discreetly pairs you up for an evening of lively conversation, good food and relaxed, easy-going fun.

Just kidding! It's for casual sex hook-ups, of course. That in itself isn't a problem, but the title is, at least in the eyes of Zynga, which has filed a trademark infringement suit against the maker of the app, Bang With Friends Inc. Zynga, in case it needs to be explained, is the company behind all those "With Friends" games everyone loves so much, like Words With Friends, Chess With Friends and Hanging With Friends, not to mention the Zygna With Friends studio.

Zynga claims in its lawsuit that the Bang With Friends title was chosen "with Zynga's game trademarks fully in mind." Renee Lawson, Zynga's deputy general counsel, added in a statement that Bang With Friends "decided to gain attention for its sex-related app by leveraging Zynga's well-known mark," and said the company is "compelled to file suit to prevent further consumer confusion and protect its intellectual property rights against infringement."

In a statement of its own, Bang With Friends Inc. said it had heard about the lawsuit through "media reports" but hadn't yet received official notification. "As a technology company, we take intellectual property seriously, and will evaluate the case in detail once we receive a copy," it said.

Apple pulled Bang With Friends from its App Store shortly after it was launched in May, although the company said it's still working to get it back in. Android owners, however, can still pick it up at Google Play.

Source: BBC

Permalink

The mere fact that this is a thing, is kinda funny.

Ok. REALLY funny.

Even more funny is Zynga filing a copyright claim. Shoe's on the other foot and all that, but on the other hand, all they stole was part of the title. Zynga steals entire games.

Andy Chalk:
snip

Why do you get all the funniest news!?

Google Play gets another meaning with the inclusion of apps like this.

I think Zynga is being ridiculous. Who else am I going to bang with? Strangers? I don't think so sirs.

All hilarity aside

1) Zynga is filing a copyright infringement claim... wow... just wow. Nearly every IP they own is a blatant rip-off at best & plagiarism at worst. Know what? More people should do this. Bite any piece of Zynga's style that you can

2) How does one seriously claim a copyright on the words "with friends"? Careful Zynga, pretty soon Apple will send you a cease & desist once they claim ownership of the letter "A"

Krantos:
The mere fact that this is a thing, is kinda funny.

Ok. REALLY funny.

Even more funny is Zynga filing a copyright claim. Shoe's on the other foot and all that, but on the other hand, all they stole was part of the title. Zynga steals entire games.

It's far more serious when you steal a title!

because ponies

-Dragmire-:

Andy Chalk:
snip

Why do you get all the funniest news!?

Google Play gets another meaning with the inclusion of apps like this.

Because Andy has compromising pictures of much of the news staff ponies.

Zombie_Moogle:

2) How does one seriously claim a copyright on the words "with friends"? Careful Zynga, pretty soon Apple will send you a cease & desist once they claim ownership of the letter "A"

Why not? They already claim ownership of the letter "i," even though their were neither the first to use it within their context nor horribly original with their naming structure.

i predict bang with friends is about to get a sudden influx of customers...

...not me ofc *nervious laugh* just there are people out there who don't know stuff like this exists *cough*...squirrel!

*scampers*

Zanga in financal trouble "Don what would you and your jackets have us do my master, Please don't make us try to make a orginal game!" "No I have the perfect plan we are gong to sue some app dev for using our trademark" *evil laughing*

All's fair in love and bouncy-bouncy!

While I do have to admit they've actually got a decent point to go with in terms of this suit, it's still funny that a company that made a name for itself by ripping off other people's games is pissed off that someone is ripping off...a portion of their games' title.

To
Much
Irony

Can't
Breath,

Laughing to Hard *faints*

So Mattrick's first step to get Zynga succesfful must of been "make a jump, grasp at straw, sue a company!"

I thought he said he was going to try and break Zynga's bad habits, not entice them to do more of them!

-Dragmire-:

Andy Chalk:
snip

Why do you get all the funniest news!?

Google Play gets another meaning with the inclusion of apps like this.

I thought news stories like this were Grey's job. XD

OT: Funny thing is that I actually had to do a presentation on Bang With Friends last semester for my Communications class, and even funnier is that I mention that some companies like Zynga have been known to sue people over these things. I must be psychic! XD

This is... uh.... I feel weird. I'm actually siding with Zynga on this one. I've never felt this way before.

P.S. Thanks

Krantos:
The mere fact that this is a thing, is kinda funny.

Ok. REALLY funny.

Even more funny is Zynga filing a copyright claim. Shoe's on the other foot and all that, but on the other hand, all they stole was part of the title. Zynga steals entire games.

I guess that would be funny if Zynga was making a copyright claim. This has to do with trademark, which is different.

ZombieMoogle:
2) How does one seriously claim a copyright on the words "with friends"? Careful Zynga, pretty soon Apple will send you a cease & desist once they claim ownership of the letter "A"

Congrats on bringing up this canard so quickly. Again, this is trademark. Trademark has to be related to a particular type of product, like Zynga's trademark for "with Friends" in relation to apps. They don't own "with friends". You'd probably have trouble getting a trademark on "A". Even if you somehow did, it wouldn't stop someone from using "A" as a normal part of their title.

Zachary Amaranth:
Why not? They already claim ownership of the letter "i," even though their were neither the first to use it within their context nor horribly original with their naming structure.

You seem to be applying the rules of patents to trademark. If no one has a trademark on adding "i" to a noun, you might be able trademark on it. I think Apple has actually had trouble with this one though. It doesn't matter so much that someone had the idea of adding "i" to things or someone did it before. If they didn't trademark it, then Apple can.

Ninja_Bob117:
Zanga in financal trouble "Don what would you and your jackets have us do my master, Please don't make us try to make a orginal game!" "No I have the perfect plan we are gong to sue some app dev for using our trademark" *evil laughing*

Zynga already has a bad rep, they don't want to make it worse by being associated with this app. I don't think they have big intentions of getting much money out of this. If the makers of the app drop the name, the issue is probably closed.

I don't like Zynga, but this seems pretty straightforward. They have a trademark on this, and it can obviously be confusing for the average person. You could easily assume this app was related to Zynga. So, you pretty much HAVE to take legal action or you will lose the trademark.

The makers of the app will just change the name. I doubt they want to fight this one out in court. If they did, it might be interesting though. I don't think "VERB with Friends" is the most solid trademark.

I think Zyngo should lay off the crack for a while, also this reminded me that I know the existence of the app: Grinder.

What's the problem? Just change the name. Here are some freebies:

Friendbang
Bone Jumper
Let's Play: Musical Beds
Random Paternity Generator
Herpes 2000

Zynga may have a case, but seriously, screw Zynga.

Covarr:
This is... uh.... I feel weird. I'm actually siding with Zynga on this one. I've never felt this way before.

P.S. Thanks

I can see the angle they're coming from too. If you're output has so far been suitable for all ages games, you're probably not going to be too happy at an app based around causal sex coming out with a similar naming structure to a lot of your output.

*Sees Title*
Hmm...I smell stupid.
*Reads the first paragraph*
Dinner and lovely evening, this doesnt sound all that ba*Then proceeds to read the second paragraph*
AWW SHIT ANDY, you got me! You fooled me!

Uhh huh, so this is the first news we get about Zynga after Don Mattrick joins the company. It's starting to look like Don is doing his job.
Step 1. Sue a company
Step 2. ???
Step 3. PROFIT!!

Now then, here's hoping I won't see any more news about "Bang With Friends".

Zinga's jackass status: Reaffirmed

238U

I think the takeaway is that Zynga feels they should be the only group out there screwing people.

The fact that I'm grinning right now means you've penetrated my mood of 'screw the world'. Good going, now I have to find reasons to be a bad mood bear all over again.

Dear me this is an actual thing in real life. Well then.

Ripping off smaller developers' work to the smallest details: business as usual.

Using two common words in an obviously unrelated, non-game app that happen to be used in the same combination in the title of one of Zynga's games: prepare legal broadsides for launch.

...Mattrick, you sure can pick 'em.

Well then, that is quite amusing.

I suppose the outcome will come out with if or if not the context of "With friends" is too vague to be held as a copyright.

This is a really weird industry.... I think i might go and copyright the word "The"

oh wait i think EA did that one....

Wow. Just wow.

I'm not sure if I am surprised or not that such an app exists. And I don't know which should make me sadder.

Though, I'm not sure if you can copyright (or trademark whatever) "with friends". Sounds like it would make a lot of other advertising difficult.
"Play this game online with friends."
"Come out and eat with friends."
"Have fun at our theme park with friends."

It just seems like such a easily abused possibility. Maybe you and I wouldn't have to worry about going out with friends. But I'm not certain they couldn't apply that liberally to advertising and not just titles. Seems like a real slippery slope.

Though, I do think that the people who made the app were likely trying to parody the Zynga naming.

Sleekit:
i predict bang with friends is about to get a sudden influx of customers...

...not me ofc *nervious laugh* just there are people out there who don't know stuff like this exists *cough*...squirrel!

*scampers*

*looks at Avatar*
Oh, please. We all know what you are going to do with that squirrel...

Play checkers.

Zombie_Moogle:
All hilarity aside

2) How does one seriously claim a copyright on the words "with friends"? Careful Zynga, pretty soon Apple will send you a cease & desist once they claim ownership of the letter "A"

we should make a game with a title that will get people fighting over who's turn it is to sue.
so i'm thinking the name should be: "badge of honour calling for duty with friends." a working title, obviously, but we can make it longer later on.

Maybe Zynga wouldn't be in such dire financial straits if it stopped spending so much money on frivolous lawsuits?

I imagine the lawyers for such a thing do not come cheap.

....

**wonders if this works on Kindle Fire**

**google search**

**learns that it requires a Facebook Account**

Nevermind....

OT: Consider me amused.

Clovus:
I don't think "VERB with Friends" is the most solid trademark.

Just wanted to say, your post was kind of aggressively annoying concerning the fairly mild difference between Copyright and Trademark. Yes, people were mixing them up - however, the general point people were making was not wrong. Zynga is known for stealing IP. Someone stole their trademark. Thus general amusement over Zynga's misfortune.

Your final comment (quoted above) was rather the point. Zynga has stolen MUCH more significant work than a title from numerous game designers and gotten away with it. Now they're having their trademarks attacked. Seeing a company that has stolen work have its work stolen is both amusing and satisfying, particularly when it's such a small thing as "Verb with Friends" as you put it.

Zombie_Moogle:
2) How does one seriously claim a copyright on the words "with friends"? Careful Zynga, pretty soon Apple will send you a cease & desist once they claim ownership of the letter "A"

Doesn't Apple already own the lower case "i"? I wouldn't be surprised if they started suing all those i-something devices like the iRig.

OT: Geez Zynga, glass houses. Everything you do is a blatant clone of something else! What have they done that's original (apart from Farmville, that ugly tumour of a game that it is)?

Why do companies make retarded trademarks such as these?
And Zynga of all companies, i can barely breathe with all the hypocrisy in the air

Just another example of how casuals ruin everything.

I'm siding with "Bang With Friends" if only because the title is "Bang With Friends".

Also, should I be terrified of Zynga now?

I mean, their logo is a dog. Maybe they'll send attack dogs after me next time I say I'm going to go out with friends.

tdylan:
I think the takeaway is that Zynga feels they should be the only group out there screwing people.

And the award for best post I've seen today goes to...

Bang with friends probably makes people more happy then Zynga.

Am the only one who noticed that the guys who made Bang With Friends hasn't even received the C&D note from Zyanga, yet the App is getting pulled from Itunes anyway? Seriously, fuck the legal system, when they can't even let someone know they're in trouble before taking away their source of income.

Step One of Don Mattrick's Great Plan to Restore Zynga:

File a lawsuit against a pornography game.

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