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Zynga Inc v Bang With Friends complaint

Zynga Inc v Bang With Friends complaint

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Published by Mark H. Jaffe
Zynga Inc., manufacturer of Words With Friends and other "With Friends" games, brought this trademark infringement action against "Bang With Friends," a dating app apparently focused on casual sex. The parties have reportedly settled and the defendant will no longer use the Bang With Friends name.
Zynga Inc., manufacturer of Words With Friends and other "With Friends" games, brought this trademark infringement action against "Bang With Friends," a dating app apparently focused on casual sex. The parties have reportedly settled and the defendant will no longer use the Bang With Friends name.

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Mark H. Jaffe on Oct 01, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/09/2014

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2627
28
®
KILPATRICKTOWNSEND
&
STOCKTONLLP
DENNISL.WILSON(StateBarNo.155407)
DWilson@kilpatricktownsend.com
CHRISTOPHER
T.
VARAS
(State
Bar
No.
257080)
CVaras@kiIpatricktownsend.com
9720WilshireBlvd
PH
BeverlyHills,CA90212-2018Telephone:310-248-3830
Facsimile:
310-860-0363
AttorneysforPlaintiff
ZYNGA
INC.
*
f't*o
&
UNITED
STATES
DISTRICT
COURT
FILED
BY
FAX
FOR
THE
NORTHERN
DISTRICT
OF
CALIFORNIA
SANFRANCISCODIVISION
ZYNGAINC.,aDelawareCorporation,
Plaintiff,
v.
BANGWITHFRIENDS,INC.,aDelaware
Corporation,andDOES1-5,inclusive,
Defendants.
13
3517
COMPLAINT
FOR:
(1)
TRADEMARK
INFRINGEMENT
UNDER
15U.S.C.§1114(1);
(2)
TRADEMARK
INFRINGEMENT
UNDER
15
U.S.C.
§1125(A);
(3)
FALSEDESIGNATIONOFORIGIN
UNDER
15U.S.C.§1125(A);
(4)FEDERALDILUTIONUNDER15
U.S.C.
8
1125(C);
(5)VIOLATIONOFCAL.BUS.&
PROF.
CODE
§17200;
(6)
STATE
COMMON
LAW
TRADEMARK
INFRINGEMENT;
AND
(7)
COMMON
LAW
PASSINGOFFAND
UNFAIRCOMPETITION
DEMAND
FOR
JURY
TRIAL
COMPLAINT
 
1PlaintiffZyngaInc.("Zynga")bringsthisComplaintagainstDefendantBangWith
2Friends,
Inc.
("BangWithFriends")and
Does1-5,
forinjunctivereliefand
damagesunder
the
3
laws
of
the
United
StatesandtheState
of
California.
4
NATURE
OF
THE
CASE
51.Thisisacaseaboutillegalfreeridingonrecognizedandvaluableintellectual
6
propertyrights.
The
"WITHFRIENDS"
brand
is
strong
and
has
beenassociated
withone
company
7-
Zynga,
NowdefendantBang
With
Friends
has
entered
themarket
unlawfully
using
Zynga's
8WITHFRIENDSbrandwiththeofferingofaserviceforcasualsex("BangWithFriends").
9Defendant'sprincipalshaveadmittedtheir
goal
wasto
make
theirproduct"as
objectionable
as
10
possible."
They
even
concealed
theiridentities
because,
as
one
ofthe
principals
explained,
the
11
service
is"a
littleraunchy."
With
the
disclosure
ofDefendant's
intentions
to
continue
-
and
expand
12
-itsactsofinfringement,
Zyngabrings
this
lawsuit
to
protect
its
hard-earned
intellectual
property
13
rights
from
Defendant'sopportunistic
exploitation
of
Zynga's
famousfamily
of
WITH
FRIENDS
14
trademarks.
15
2.
Plaintiff
Zynga
is
the
creator
of
belovedsocialgamesplayed
by
millions
of
people
16
overthe
Internet
on
their
computers
and
mobiledevices.Zynga
has
created,
invested
in,
and
owns
17
valuable
brands
and
marks
associatedwithitspopular
games.Amongthem
areZynga's
WITH
18
FRIENDSfamily
of
games,
including
WORDSWITH
FRIENDS®,SCRAMBLE
WITH
19
FRIENDS®,HANGING
WITH
FRIENDS®,CHESS
WITH
FRIENDS®,
MATCHING
WITH
20
FRIENDS™,
GEMS
WITH
FRIENDS™,
and
RUNNING
WITH
FRIENDS™.
Zynga's
WITH
21
FRIENDSmarks
are
recognizedboth
bythe
United
StatesPatent
and
TrademarkOffice
and
by
22consumers.
233.
DefendantBang
With
Friends,
Inc.
isthe
maker
ofan
Internet
application
(or
"app")
24
alsonamed
"Bang
With
Friends"
that
is
usedto
connect
people
for
casual
sex.
Based
on
public
25
reports,
the
appwas
created
by
threetwenty-something
men
over
thecourse
ofa
night
and
with
the
26
help
of"a
lot
of
Red
Bulland
Vodka."
When
it
came
to
naming,they
didnotselect
from
the
27
universe
of
availableunique
names.Upon
information
and
belief,
theyinstead
namedthe
product28
"Bang
With
Friends"
-
incorporating
Zynga's
WITH
FRIENDS
mark
in
its
entirety
-
to
leverage
.1.
COMPLAINT
 
1anddeliberatelytradeonthefame
of
Zynga'sWITHFRIENDSfamily
of
marksinordertoget
2noticedquicklyinthesea
of
Internetapplications.
34.
Defendant's
violation
of
Zynga's
rightshashadits
intended
effect.
Defendant's
4"BangWithFriends"appcaughtafreerideonthecoattails
of
Zynga's
famedWITHFRIENDS5family
of
marksandgainednotorietywhilesimultaneouslycausingconsumerconfusionandfalsely6associatingthe
"Bang
WithFriends"appwithZynga.Forexample,onemediaoutletintroducedit
7
with
the
lead:
8
"Words
with
Friends,
Scramble
with
Friends
and
now,
Bang
withFriends?"
9Forbes.comevenwentsofarastodescribethe
"Bang
WithFriends"appas
10
"like
WordsWith
Friends,
without
the
letter
tiles
andclothes."
11
5.Zyngathereforebringsthisactiontoremedyandpreventfurtherharmcausedby12Defendant'swillfulinfringementanddilution
of
itsrightsduetotheadult-oriented"BangWith
13Friends"app.Thisisanactionforviolation
of
thefederalLanhamAct,15U.S.C.§§1114(1),
141125(a)and1125(c);violation
of
theCaliforniastatutorylaw
of
unfaircompetition,California
15BusinessandProfessionsCode§17200;andCaliforniacommonlawtrademarkinfringement,
16passing
off
andunfaircompetition.Zyngaseeksfindings
of
infringementandinjunctive,
17compensatoryandpunitiverelief.
18
THEPARTIES
196.PlaintiffZyngaisacorporationorganizedandexistingunderthelawsoftheStateof
20Delawareandhasitsprincipalplace
of
businessinSanFrancisco,California.
217.Zyngaisinformedandbelieves,andonthatbasisalleges,thatDefendantisa22DelawarecorporationdoingbusinessasBangWithFriends(www.bangwithfriends.com)witha
23
corporateoffice
at
the
address
1
HallidiePlaza,
2nd
Floor,
San
Francisco,
CA94102
and/or
oneor
24
more
otheraddresses
in
or
near
San
Francisco,California.
258.Zyngaiscurrentlyunaware
of
theidentities
of
defendantsDoes1-5andtherefore26suessuchdefendantsbysuchfictitiousacronyms.Zyngaisinformedandbelievesthatdiscovery27willrevealthetrueidentities
of
thesedefendants.ZyngawillamendthisComplainttoidentify28thesedefendantsbynameaftertheiridentitiesarediscovered.
-2-
COMPLAINT

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