EA Faces Uphill Battle in Its Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against Zynga (Partial Forbes Cross-Post)

13 08 2012

By Eric Goldman

Electronic Arts Inc. v. Zynga Inc., 3:12-cv-04099 (N.D. Cal. complaint filed Aug. 3, 2012).

Last Friday, Electronic Arts ($EA) sued Zynga ($ZNGA) for copyright infringement. EA alleges that Zynga’s “The Ville” game takes too much of EA’s “Sims Social” game.

The lawsuit is interesting for a number of reasons.  First, it’s always interesting to see two major Silicon Valley companies clash in court.  (I know Zynga is located in SoMa–“South of Market Street” in San Francisco–but close enough).  It’s even more interesting to see big game manufacturers square off, something that happens relatively rarely.  Second, the case raises interesting–and difficult-to-resolve–substantive questions about copyright law.  Third, game developers copy each other’s ideas all the time, meaning that if the case reaches a final adjudication rather than settling, it might set a vitally important precedent for the entire industry.


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