Zynga Sues 'Bang With Friends' Sex App for Trademark Infringement
Do you have a Facebook friend that you've always secretly wanted to encounter underneath the sheets? Well, there's an app for that, though perhaps not for long.
The social gaming company Zynga has filed a lawsuit against the makers of a popular Facebook application made for enabling hook ups between Facebook friends. Known as "Bang With Friends," the application allows users to pick which friends they would have sex with, and if that friend has picked them as well, both parties are notified.
There's only one small problem with this application. It sounds very similar to Zynga's wildly popular "Words With Friends" game, along with various other titles associated with the brand. Zynga believes "Bang With Friends" is profiting off of their "With Friends" brand, as well as associating the company with a less-than-wholesome image, and so have filed suit.
"Zynga filed a lawsuit to stop blatant infringement of its valuable 'With Friends' brand," Renee Lawson, Zynga's deputy general counsel, said in a statement. "Zynga is compelled to file suit to prevent further consumer confusion and protect its intellectual property rights against infringement."
Filing the lawsuit proved harder than initially expected, however. The makers of Bang With Friends have so far remained highly incognito, perhaps because of the explicit content of their creation. As Zynga's lawyer noted, even finding out who they were was a tall order.
"But even trying to make contact with Defendant was not easy-as intended by Defendant. As Defendant's principals now have acknowledged publicly, they intentionally took active steps to conceal their identity, because, as one explained, the service 'is a little raunchy.' Corporate filings were masked. Defendant did not publicly list officers, directors, or agents and instead provided an email address of 'firstname.lastname@example.org' for inquiries," noted Zynga's attorney Dennis L. Wilson.
Zynga went on to say that they attempted to work out an arrangement with Bang With Friends so that both parties could avoid having to go to court. Though the risque application's developers originally were receptive to talks with Zynga, those negotiations soon broke down. Left with no other recourse, Zynga filed a lawsuit.
Zynga is requesting a court order that would ban the company from using anything with the words "With Friends" in the title. They are also asking for monetary compensation for unspecified damages. So far, the makers of Bang With Friends have promised to look into the situation.
"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," said Bang With Friends representatives.
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