Digital Chocolate sues Zynga over Mafia Wars name

No respect

Digital Chocolate sues Zynga over Mafia Wars name
| Digital Chocolate news

Demonstrating something of the steely nature of the Godfather himself, Digital Chocolate is suing casual gaming giant Zynga over the game name Mafia Wars.

Digital Chocolate released a series of mobile games such as Mafia Wars Yakuza, Mafia Wars: New York and Scarlotti's Mafia Wars in the mid-2000s and so presumably performed some sort of trademarking activity then.

It claims to have informed Zynga of the issue in 2009 and said it received a written response Zynga would stop using the name.

Courthouse News says Digital Chocolate wants Zynga to stop using the name, deliver all Mafia Wars products and "engage in corrective advertising" of twice what Zynga has spent promoting Mafia Wars.

Owning the neighbourhood

Mafia Wars is one of Zynga's most successful Facebook titles with over 25 million monthly active players. It recently kicked off a multi-million dollar US advertising campaign for the game with retailer 7-Eleven.

"We are surprised and disappointed by Digital Chocolate's lawsuit. The timing of the action appears to be opportunistic, and we plan to defend ourselves vigorously," said Zynga in a statement.

And, of course, with annual sales thought to be over $500 million, plus $300 million recently invested by Google and Softbank, it's got plenty of cash to be vigorous with.

Interestingly Zynga filed a lawsuit against social publisher, Playdom, in June 2009, amongst other things accusing it of infringing on its rights to Mafia Wars.

Developer Psycho Monkey also sued Zynga in 2009 over Mafia Wars, saying it had ripped off its game Mob Wars.

[source: Courthouse News]

Jon Jordan
Jon Jordan
A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon can turn his hand to anything except hand turning. He is editor-at-large at which means he can arrive anywhere in the world, acting like a slightly confused uncle looking for the way out. He likes letters, cameras, imaginary numbers and legumes.