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.