FarmVille dev accused of copyright infringement

Written by David Hing

July 20, 2011 | 12:34

Tags: #facebook-games #farmville #social

Companies: #facebook #zynga

Farmville developer Zynga is being sued for using another developer's source code to build some of its popular titles, and not paying its dues. According to Patent Arcade, the charges include copyright infringement, violation of trade secrets and breach of written contract.

Developer SocialApps, responsible for myFarm, claims that it entered into a letter of agreement for Zynga to acquire intellectual rights to the myFarm source code in May 2009.

However, SocialApps says it hasn't seen any of the promised compensation or recognition after the code was shared, meaning that the casual gaming giant failed to honour its side of the deal.

SocialApps is seeking profits and gains from FarmVille, statutory and punitive damages, a permanent injunction and legal costs.

Zynga allegedly used the source code to help create Farmville, CityVille, FrontierVille and FishVille, which all form a part of its suite of popular Facebook games. SocialApps' myFarm was released in November 2008, with FarmVille following in June 2009.

Zynga have been criticised in the past for producing very similar titles to those of its competitors. At release, Farmville was compared to Farm Town, which looked very similar. More recently, Zynga has itself taken action against Brazilian developer Vostu for 'blatant copyright infringement'.

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