California-based casual gaming studio SocialApps has sued FarmVille
giant Zynga over alleged copyright infringement and breach of confidence.
In a court filing with the Central District of California on June 17, 2011, and as reported by
Patent Arcade, SocialApps claims that Zynga used the source code from its farming game, myFarm
, to build popular Facebook title FarmVille
was first released on Facebook in November 2008. In May of 2009, Zynga allegedly approached SocialApps to acquire the intellectual rights and source code for the game.
However, after the two companies entered into a Letter of Agreement for the source code, SocialApps claims that it did not hear back from Zynga again, and did not receive any response when trying to contact the company.
A month later, Zynga released FarmVille
on Facebook. SocialApps says that the source code was used in the development of FarmVille
, and that it did not receive any compensation or credit from the agreement.
SocialApps is seeking permanent injunction, statutory and punitive damages and attorney’s fees, as well as a share of the profits Zynga has made from FarmVille
. The company believes it has suffered damages in excess of $100,000.
It also claims that the source code may have been used in the development of Zynga's other titles, such as FrontierVille
. Gamasutra has contacted Zynga for comment.
Last month, Zynga filed a lawsuit
claiming that social gaming start-up Vostu was blatantly copying its most popular games.