Zynga sues 'Bang With Friends' for infringement

The company says the app gets a free ride on a road already made popular by its own 'With Friends' line.

By Kim Peterson Aug 1, 2013 3:42PM
BangWithFriends_080113_UL_300Zynga (ZNGA) has worked hard to develop its popular games "Words With Friends" and "Scramble With Friends." And so the company isn't too happy about a salacious new app called "Bang With Friends."

For Zynga, the issue isn't so much about the morality of an app (pictured) that connects Facebook (FB) friends who are interested in sex with each other. What really has the company miffed is the app's name.

"This is a case about illegal free riding on recognized and valuable intellectual property rights," the company said in a lawsuit (you can see the filing here).

In Zynga's mind, the creators of "Bang With Friends" chose that name precisely to take advantage of the popularity of Zynga's own "with friends" line of games. "Bang With Friends" infringes on the "with friends" brand, the company's lawyer said in a statement emailed to Bloomberg.

The GigaOm website says that "Bang With Friends" has a couple of good defenses working in its favor, however. First, its name could be considered safe under free speech law's parody rules. Second, it could argue that "with friends" is a pretty generic term, one that Zynga can't lay claim to.

Colin Hodge, the co-founder of "Bang With Friends," says he takes intellectual property seriously and will evaluate the case in detail once he receives a copy, according to PC Magazine.

More on moneyNOW

Aug 1, 2013 4:09PM
Perhaps Zynga doesn't realize that all of its apps are ripoffs of other games. Anyone up for a round of Scrabble with Friends?
Aug 1, 2013 4:16PM
If Zynga wins I hope Hasbro sues them for Scramble with Friends.
Aug 1, 2013 4:50PM

"with friends" is way too common a phrase to claim some general ownership of!


So if I go to have dinner "with friends", is a Zynga lawyer going to sit on my lap and eat my dessert?


They are a dying company and grasping for any potential revenue stream they can, even litigious ones.

Aug 1, 2013 4:34PM
I really hope zynga loses, they are evil.
Aug 1, 2013 5:20PM
If Bang with friends got me a chance of getting laid I would have the app. Unfortunately that wouldn't help much since every woman I encounter even the fat nasty ones only want a guy between 25-35 with a degree, 6 figure income, luxury sports car, and mansion and serious disposable income that are free to spend on themselves.
Aug 1, 2013 4:46PM

This is like the dill hole trying to copy write emoticons several years ago.

Aug 1, 2013 5:02PM
If I can actually get lucky, this will be THE GREATEST APP OF ALL-TIME!! Thanks for raising awareness, Zynga!
Aug 1, 2013 5:17PM
I had dinner with friends, can I be sued?
Aug 1, 2013 4:52PM
Guess what app will now be high ranking? This one.
Aug 1, 2013 5:14PM

Zynga you are the devil... I hope hasbro sues the hell out of your company

Aug 1, 2013 5:10PM
If it takes a app to tell you that your friends want to bang with you.. you probably shouldn't be getting laid.  Life is so lazy anymore.. sad.
Aug 1, 2013 6:43PM
This is as bad as the Susan B Komen Foundation that wanted to sue anyone who had a tag line that included "for the cure".  What do these people think they are, a charity or a for-profit business?
Aug 1, 2013 4:57PM
Is Screw With Friends more apropos?
Aug 1, 2013 6:42PM

Never understood how you can "own" words.  Crazy!!


Aug 1, 2013 7:04PM
zynga is no better then FB as a whole. The company would not exist at all if not for FB. Who's taking a free ride?

Aug 1, 2013 5:01PM
Zynga  the same people who "stole" the name Tiki Farm.

bang, bang you shot me dead

bang, bang my Zyanga shot me dead.

Aug 1, 2013 6:59PM
Aug 1, 2013 7:43PM

Could someone let NBC know that a "Bing" is not considered daily news.


Oh sorry! "Bang" with friends. Now it makes sense.

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