When the developers of “Bang with Friends” created their casual-sex app, they probably didn’t expect to get screwed themselves.
Zynga, the social gaming company that brings us wholesome games such as Words with Friends and Hanging with Friends, is suing Bang with Friends creators for piggybacking off its successful line of “With Friends” games.
The complaint, filed this week in San Francisco Federal Court, called it a case about “illegal free riding” on “valuable intellectual property rights.”
It reads, in part:
“When it came to naming [the Bang with Friends app, the creators] did not select from the universe of available unique names.”
Bang with Friends, apparently created one night by three twenty-something dudes amped up on Red Bull and vodka, allows Facebook friends to hook up if they express mutual interest in each other.
Since its January launch, the Delaware-based company said the app has more than one million registered users just waiting to get that Facebook poke.
Zynga seeks an injunction and unspecified punitive damages for trademark violations and unfair competition. However, said trademark expert Roland Mallinson, it may be a lost cause:
“The argument is about some quite generic words — can Zynga have a monopoly on ‘…with friends’?”
According to a statement to BBC, Bang with Friends creators said they don’t take the situation lightly:
“As a technology company, we take intellectual property seriously, and will evaluate the case in detail once we receive a copy [of official papers].”