Court Fight Over ‘Mafia Wars’ Game

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Zynga Game Network claims its competitor Playdom violates trademark and competes unfairly with ads that compare Playdom’s “Mobsters” interactive video game with Zynga’s “more popular Mafia Wars.”

     Zynga, which develops games for Facebook and MySpace, objects to Playdom’s ad for “Mobsters” on Facebook, which includes the words, “Like Mafia Wars?”
     According to the federal complaint, the ad includes a picture of a gangster and the statement “Click here to play Mobsters. It’s got henchmen, mini games, message boards and sophisticated style.”
     Zynga claims that players confuse the two games because it is unclear what game the advertisement is for. It claims it has lost traffic and profits as a result.
     Zynga says that it asked Playdom to cease and desist using the Mafia Wars trademark in its ad. “Playdom briefly conceded,” the complaint states, “changing the text of the advertisement to read ‘Like Mafia Games?’ [But] Playdom has since returned to using the original text referring to Mafia Wars.”
     Zynga demands an injunction and damages for lost profits, trademark infringement and false advertising. It is represented by Claude Stern with Quinn, Emmanuel & Urquhart of Redwood Shores.

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