Time to pick Mike’s brain: Trademarks, Domains and C&D

There is an unreal situation unfolding between social media game maker Zynga and a software startup about to launch a game on Facebook.

Upon examining the C&D papers and reading the response of Blingville, we believe this is a case for Mike Berkens who is both an attorney and a domainer – not to mention, proud dad of Bandit Berkens.

In a nutshell, Zynga is launching a game called “Rewardville” and does not want any other games to end in *Ville but theirs!

That’s kind of ballsy for a company that started using “Mafia Wars” as the name of a game, all while an existing game shared the same name. Zynga eventually licensed the title, but apparently now they are going “carte blanche” against any game ending in “Ville”.

So where’s the catch?

Zynga sent the C&D to Blingville LLC, a Virginia company. Adding further to the twist, Blingville LLC operates from Blingville.com which they registered in 2004. Blingville LLC is getting ready to launch a social media game on Facebook.

Blingville LLC is also in agreement to license the applied-for trademark for “Blingville” through Overtime Apps LLC, a Philadelphia company.

After receiving the ludicrous C&D letter from Zynga, Blingville LLC did the obvious: they filed a lawsuit against giant Zynga, seeking a court’s decision that they are not infringing on any mark owned by Zynga.

We can’t wait to see virtual goods game maker Zynga eat some real dirt on this one! 😀

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