(CN) – Zynga stole source code to create its popular “Farmville” game on Facebook, a Los Angeles-based social-network games developer claims in a federal complaint that seeks more than $600,000 in damages.
SocialApps has a competing virtual farm game called “myFarm,” and Zynga offered to buy the rights and source code to that program in May 2009, according to the complaint.
After entering into a written confidentiality agreement, SocialApps claims it handed over the “myFarm” code, designed by Michael Yager, but then never heard from Zynga again.
Zynga used a “ruse of due diligence to access plaintiff’s confidential source code” and “intentionally and deliberately” copied the game’s features “as part of a campaign to wrongfully divert revenues from ‘myFarm ‘and generate additional revenues,” the 14-page complaint states.
Zynga produced “Farmville” without ever crediting or compensating SocialApps, the suit alleges.
SocialApps, which registered “myFarm” with the U.S. copyright office earlier this month, also names Zynga Game Network and several unknown entities as defendants.
It seeks damages for copyright infringement, violations of the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act, breach of contract, breach of confidence and bad faith.
Graham Lippsmith of Girardi Keese, the law firm representing SocialApps, told Courthouse News that he hoped the court would “correct an alleged wrong.”
SocialApps is also represented by Milord Keshishian with Milord & Associates.