Zynga sues over “Bang with Friends” app

Company claims the hook-up app blatantly copies its popular game series

The app “Bang with Friends” is pretty much what it sounds like. You can mark which of your Facebook friends you’d like to have sex with, and if two people express mutual interest, the app will notify them. In a new lawsuit against the app’s makers, gaming company Zynga argues that the app’s name is transparent in another way—transparently infringing on the company’s trademarks.

Zynga is responsible for the popular games “Words With Friends,” “Chess With Friends” and “Scramble With Friends,” and claims that Bang With Friends Inc. is clearly riffing on that theme.

"A company calling itself 'Bang with Friends' - whose own founders played Zynga's 'With Friends' games - decided to gain attention for its sex-related app by leveraging Zynga's well-known mark,” Zynga Deputy General Counsel Renee Lawson said in a statement. “Zynga is compelled to file suit to prevent further consumer confusion and protect its intellectual property rights against infringement."

However, experts told the BBC that “with” and “friends” are very generic words that Zynga might not be able to keep to itself.

"As a technology company, we take intellectual property seriously, and will evaluate the case in detail once we receive a copy,” Bang With Friends Inc. told the BBC.

Read more at Bloomberg and the BBC.

For more coverage of Zynga on InsideCounsel, see below:

Zynga countersues EA, claims copyright lawsuit violates hiring agreement

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