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(BBC)   Zynga to have legal words with Bang with Friends maker   (bbc.co.uk ) divider line
    More: Silly, Zynga, Words With Friends, mobile apps, Android devices  
•       •       •

2209 clicks; posted to Business » on 31 Jul 2013 at 1:36 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



30 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2013-07-31 12:49:34 PM  
Sorry Zynga, you don't own the words "with friends", and you're lucky Scrabble doesn't sue you.

The Bang With Friends app was removed from the Apple app store a week after it was initially listed in May but it is still available for Android devices via Google Play.

No surprise there, since Apple censors everything. They even pulled a fart noise app a few years ago because they said the farts sounded "too wet". Dry farts only on Apple please.
 
2013-07-31 01:11:48 PM  

Walker: Sorry Zynga, you don't own the words "with friends", and you're lucky Scrabble doesn't sue you.


How do they get away with Words With Friends?  How hasn't scrabble sued them?

Also Wheel Of Fortune and their game What's The Phrase?
 
2013-07-31 01:37:34 PM  

downstairs: Walker: Sorry Zynga, you don't own the words "with friends", and you're lucky Scrabble doesn't sue you.

How do they get away with Words With Friends?  How hasn't scrabble sued them?

Also Wheel Of Fortune and their game What's The Phrase?


My guess is they are paying them some small royalty, because, there is a physician "Words with Friends" board game out now, made by Hasbro, who owns Scrabble.

WOF suing WTP is much less likely, since WOF is just hangman with a roulette wheel.
 
2013-07-31 01:38:19 PM  

dletter: here is a physician "Words with Friends"


physical that should say.
 
2013-07-31 01:54:33 PM  
Wait, Zynga says someone stole from them?  Shouldn't they have informed whomever they stole it from first?

/If this is anyone but Steve Allen, you're stealing my bit!
 
2013-07-31 01:56:35 PM  
Zynga, in a word, sucks.

They take a lot of their ideas from pre-existing games.

They tend to put more money into marketing rather than development. This hurts their players and coders.

They rush out games and push them as "Beta" in the disguise of trying to get money as soon as possible from users through in-game purchases, and, in a smaller sense, to find bugs without having to pay developers and coders to find them for them.

They take their games and throw a lot of "quests" into them at one time, tending to overwhelm the user.

Many of these "quests" require asking Facebook friends for in-game items. Though Facebook has now coded it that only those who choose to play the game will see the actual requests, you can still try to "recruit" people by recommending that they play the game.

Zynga will market its games based on money rather than player base and time. For example, when I started playing Mafia Wars in 2009, around late '09 / early '10, don't quite remember when, they changed an in-game purchase. This was for a simple task; basically, every X amount of hours, you could go to a "Cuba property" and collect Y items. It was an automatic collect, and nothing else was needed. Those playing the game were used to doing it. Then, literally overnight, this changed to having to purchase with in-game "cash". Those who would click the link used to automatically collect would suddenly be using their "hard-earned" in-game "cash." No notice was given, nothing.

I have also seen Zynga put out "quests" in their game FrontierVille / PioneerVille in 2010-2011-2012 that require *60* items to finish the quest. That's, if you are lucky, posting to your Facebook feed for one of the three items (20 apiece). But you can only post every eight to twelve hours and once five to seven of the requests are filled, that's it. Then the other two items (still 20 apiece) require requests to Facebook friends. But you can only ask them for one item, and can't ask again for another eight to twelve hours. Ridiculous way to run a game.

Their help desk has improved a bit for communication over the past six months but it is still shoddy and rarely available due to lack of staff and budget to run the department.

Zynga's downfall was putting marketing over game play; sure, when you have a game, you need to make sure that you make money to support it and your staff if any. But you can't screw the player with repeated spamming of in-game requests or pop-up windows or try to put ridiculous cash amounts for "real life" purchases. I am not going to pay one hundred dollars to Zynga for Farmville 2 items.
 
2013-07-31 02:12:17 PM  
so your saying they should have named the sex app "scramble" rite?  that would have been cool with zynga?
 
2013-07-31 02:27:59 PM  

downstairs: Walker: Sorry Zynga, you don't own the words "with friends", and you're lucky Scrabble doesn't sue you.

How do they get away with Words With Friends?  How hasn't scrabble sued them?

Also Wheel Of Fortune and their game What's The Phrase?


Gameplay mechanics are not protected by copyright or trademark. You can patent them but hardly anyone bothers.
 
2013-07-31 02:40:12 PM  
That's two erotic spoofs getting sued. Trifecta in play?
 
2013-07-31 02:47:53 PM  

Walker: Sorry Zynga, you don't own the words "with friends", and you're lucky Scrabble doesn't sue you.


Sorry, Walker, but under the Lanham Act, they may well own commercial use of those words in connection with mobile apps.
 
2013-07-31 03:19:18 PM  
Zynga is also suing the company that makes the game Fannyville.
 
2013-07-31 03:19:29 PM  
How does it even work?  Does it link to Facebook and your facebook friend list?
 
2013-07-31 03:34:01 PM  

downstairs: Walker: Sorry Zynga, you don't own the words "with friends", and you're lucky Scrabble doesn't sue you.

How do they get away with Words With Friends?  How hasn't scrabble sued them?


Words With Friends uses a slightly different board layout, slightly different number of tiles, slightly different rules and doesn't use words like "Scrabble" in their name (Unlike Scrabulous who got shut down). Scrabble has been around for decades, even if they used to have a design patent it would have expired a while ago. I am a little surprised they can't sue for trade dress infringement as the board looks so much like the scrabble board, but I'm not a lawyer.
 
2013-07-31 03:34:22 PM  
Screw a company that offered stock options... then made millions, then demanded the stock back.
 
2013-07-31 03:41:30 PM  

TheGreatGazoo: How does it even work?  Does it link to Facebook and your facebook friend list?


Bang With Friends? It was like any other Facebook app in that it could find who else on your friend's list was using it and then allowed you to contact each other through it. But you had to be using it - sort of like how you'd never know which one of your friends were into bondage until you got to the dungeon and saw Steve from accounting in the full gimp suit being flayed by a dominatrix... and you're like "HA! Steve's the gimp at the dungeon" but you couldn't tell anyone because you had to have been at the dungeon to know that.

It was supposed to be hidden to anyone not using it - but that got bypassed not too long ago and you could look up who among your friends had the app installed by simply clicking a link. I assumed it died off when that little exploit came out, but then again the kind of crowd that has no-strings attached sex through a Facebook app probably isn't the type to be shamed out of it.
 
2013-07-31 03:53:53 PM  

The Evil That Lies In The Hearts Of Men: I am a little surprised they can't sue for trade dress infringement as the board looks so much like the scrabble board, but I'm not a lawyer.


The argument would be that the board layout is a functional feature, not an aesthetic one, and therefore wouldn't be covered by trade dress.

Also, take a look at the two:
www.androidfreeware.net talesfromanopenbook.files.wordpress.comThe aesthetic features are all different - point values in a different corner, different colors for the bonus squares, Scrabble has those little triangles on the edge of each bonus square, and even the layout of bonus squares is different.

If there's one thing Zynga is  very good at, it's making distinct trade dress for its products that evokes the original, while being noticeably different.
 
2013-07-31 04:26:44 PM  
Theaetetus:If there's one thing Zynga is  very good at, it's making distinct trade dress for its products that evokes the original, while being noticeably different.

So what you're saying is Zynga is the 60 year old barfly with the makeup gun set to whore
 
2013-07-31 05:04:15 PM  
Oblig xkcd for the original words with friends
imgs.xkcd.com
 
2013-07-31 05:15:36 PM  
Well, I guess I should look for a different name for the app I was developing titled "Bang Something"
 
2013-07-31 05:54:18 PM  

Theaetetus: Lanham Act


Doesn't there have to be a substantial risk of product confusion, e.g., the maker of BVD (underwear) suing BAD (also selling underwear)?  Here, they are totally different products, it would be hard to argue consumer confusion.

/not a lawyer, just curious
 
2013-07-31 06:09:57 PM  

hp6sa: Theaetetus: Lanham Act

Doesn't there have to be a substantial risk of product confusion, e.g., the maker of BVD (underwear) suing BAD (also selling underwear)?  Here, they are totally different products, it would be hard to argue consumer confusion.

/not a lawyer, just curious


Under ordinary trademark infringement, yes, but not under dilution or tarnishment (see the Federal Trademark Dilution Act). Specifically, even if there isn't a likelihood of consumer confusion between Words With Friends and Bangs With Friends, a famous mark such as Words With Friends has the right to exclude others from using marks that are similar and create an association that will harm the reputation of the famous mark... like associating Zynga with people engaging in a pleasurable activity.
 
2013-07-31 07:05:56 PM  
Ha ha, Apple is a prude.
 
2013-07-31 09:05:30 PM  
25.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-07-31 09:34:40 PM  
Anyone used it?
 
2013-08-01 12:01:39 AM  

Theaetetus: hp6sa: Theaetetus: Lanham Act

Doesn't there have to be a substantial risk of product confusion, e.g., the maker of BVD (underwear) suing BAD (also selling underwear)?  Here, they are totally different products, it would be hard to argue consumer confusion.

/not a lawyer, just curious

Under ordinary trademark infringement, yes, but not under dilution or tarnishment (see the Federal Trademark Dilution Act). Specifically, even if there isn't a likelihood of consumer confusion between Words With Friends and Bangs With Friends, a famous mark such as Words With Friends has the right to exclude others from using marks that are similar and create an association that will harm the reputation of the famous mark... like associating Zynga with people engaging in a pleasurable activity.


Gotcha. Thanks... and that actually makes sense.
 
2013-08-01 06:08:53 AM  
Actually, not a bad business model.

1) Create an app to do with something people want (banging)
2) Associate it with another app
3) Get sued and get publicity for it.
4) Back down, apologise, announce new app, getting yet more free publicity for the app under a new name.
 
2013-08-01 06:48:15 AM  
WordFeud > Words With Friends for a Scrabble-like app.
 
2013-08-01 07:59:59 AM  

Treygreen13: It was supposed to be hidden to anyone not using it - but that got bypassed not too long ago and you could look up who among your friends had the app installed by simply clicking a link.


LOL, you gotta show me how to do that.
 
2013-08-01 08:29:39 AM  

Fiction Fan: Zynga, in a word, sucks.

They take a lot of their ideas from pre-existing games.

They tend to put more money into marketing rather than development. This hurts their players and coders.

They rush out games and push them as "Beta" in the disguise of trying to get money as soon as possible from users through in-game purchases, and, in a smaller sense, to find bugs without having to pay developers and coders to find them for them.

They take their games and throw a lot of "quests" into them at one time, tending to overwhelm the user.

Many of these "quests" require asking Facebook friends for in-game items. Though Facebook has now coded it that only those who choose to play the game will see the actual requests, you can still try to "recruit" people by recommending that they play the game.

Zynga will market its games based on money rather than player base and time. For example, when I started playing Mafia Wars in 2009, around late '09 / early '10, don't quite remember when, they changed an in-game purchase. This was for a simple task; basically, every X amount of hours, you could go to a "Cuba property" and collect Y items. It was an automatic collect, and nothing else was needed. Those playing the game were used to doing it. Then, literally overnight, this changed to having to purchase with in-game "cash". Those who would click the link used to automatically collect would suddenly be using their "hard-earned" in-game "cash." No notice was given, nothing.

I have also seen Zynga put out "quests" in their game FrontierVille / PioneerVille in 2010-2011-2012 that require *60* items to finish the quest. That's, if you are lucky, posting to your Facebook feed for one of the three items (20 apiece). But you can only post every eight to twelve hours and once five to seven of the requests are filled, that's it. Then the other two items (still 20 apiece) require requests to Facebook friends. But you can only ask them for one item, and can't ask again for another eight to twelve hours. Ridiculous way to run a game.

Their help desk has improved a bit for communication over the past six months but it is still shoddy and rarely available due to lack of staff and budget to run the department.

Zynga's downfall was putting marketing over game play; sure, when you have a game, you need to make sure that you make money to support it and your staff if any. But you can't screw the player with repeated spamming of in-game requests or pop-up windows or try to put ridiculous cash amounts for "real life" purchases. I am not going to pay one hundred dollars to Zynga for Farmville 2 items.


Sounds like a lot of time wasted. Of course it is personal preference on what people waste their time on (for me it is pc/console gaming with some gardening thrown in). However holy shiat you sure know alot about the game mechanics of several awful games.
 
2013-08-01 09:22:06 AM  

Sandusky Knows Best: Sounds like a lot of time wasted. Of course it is personal preference on what people waste their time on (for me it is pc/console gaming with some gardening thrown in). However holy shiat you sure know alot about the game mechanics of several awful games.


Oh yes, the "I do more or less the same thing you do, but, let me tell you, the kind that you do totally sucks and is a waste of time" argument.
 
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