SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – A trademark developer says in court that it was stiffed after helping Zynga land the biggest products-licensing deal in the gaming giant’s history.
Zynga allegedly hired Brandgenuity in 2010 to come up with a comprehensive strategy that would enable Zynga to add vendor capability to its popular games like FarmVille and Mafia Wars.
Once the deal was done, however, Brandgenuity says Zynga refused to pay the $18 million commission.
“Zynga’s conduct is all the more egregious because, prior to Brandgenuity’s work,
Zynga had no licensing strategy and virtually no associated royalties,” according to the complaint filed in San Francisco County Superior Court.
“Brandgenuity changed all that and invested substantial resources to find, identify, and vet prospective licensees for Zynga’s various game properties.”
Clothes, toys, games, lotteries, slot machines and greeting cards were all included in a comprehensive plan that Brandgenuity allegedly created from scratch, the lawsuit says.
Proprietary marketing research and analysis led to a plan aimed at attracting third parties to sell products branded with Zynga’s games and trademarks in return for royalties, Brandgenuity says.
“Brandgenuity worked closely with potential licensees and facilitated and led meetings between them and senior Zynga managers,” according to the complaint.
“Brandgenuity then shepherded Zynga through the licensees election process, performed detailed analyses of top prospects and helped negotiate key business terms for Zynga’s approval.”.
The agency says it projected wholesale revenues to reach several hundred million dollars over a three-year period.
Around the time Zynga announced it had entered into a deal with a major toy company to develop toys and games based on Zynga’s portfolio, Zynga tried to cut Brandgenuity out of a “massive toy company deal,” according to the complaint.
A proposal sent by Zynga’s corporate counsel allegedly “sought to expressly limit Brandgenuity’s work to the Farmville property, despite the fact that Brandgenuity had already secured a license for multiple Zynga games to the toy company at Zynga’s express request.”
The complaint seeks $18 million in damages for goods and services rendered. Brandgenuity is represented by J. Noah Hagey of BraunHagey & Borden.