Zynga Settles Trademark Lawsuit with ‘Bang with Friends’ Creator

About 2 months ago, embattled social gaming company Zynga sued the creators of the Bang with Friends app in federal court. The suit alleged that the casual sex app’s name was an intentional play on Zynga’s trademarked “with friends” properties such as Words with Friends and Hanging with Friends. Today the suit was dropped and the two parties settled.

“Zynga Inc. and Bang With Friends, Inc. are pleased that they have reached an amicable resolution of their dispute,” a Zynga spokesperson told tech site AllThingsD, who covered the story. “Although the terms of the settlement are confidential, Bang With Friends, Inc. acknowledges the trademark rights that Zynga has in its With Friends marks and will be changing its corporate name and rebranding its services in the near future.”

Bang with Friends’ creators have already moved on to bigger and better, or at least different things. A spokesperson directed folks to thenextbang.com, though it appears to be defunct at this point. Bang with Friends is still on the Google Play store for Android. After being kicked off of iTunes, the BWF experience has been made a bit tamer for iOS with the more palatable app, Down (like, “Are you down?” – barf)

Zynga filed suit against the maker of Bang with Friends on July 31st, in a San Francisco federal court. Zynga has many titles that end in “with friends” such as Words with Friends, Chess with Friends, and Hanging with Friends. The suit alleged the defendant “selected the name ‘Bang With Friends’ for its casual sex matchmaking app with Zynga’s game trademarks fully in mind.”

Zynga sought a court order barring the company from using the name “Bang With Friends” for any social networking apps and undisclosed damages. Zynga lawyer, Renee Lawson, said in an email that “Zynga filed a lawsuit to stop blatant infringement of its valuable ‘With Friends’ brand. Zynga is compelled to file suit to prevent further consumer confusion and protect its intellectual property rights against infringement.”

Social gaming company, Zynga has been struggling since its 2011 IPO offering. It recently laid off more than 500 employees and its had huge shakeups in its management structure, with 12 high level executives fleeing the company since its IPO. Shares in Zynga stock are down 70 percent.

[Via: All Things D]


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