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Social Games Studio Vostu Countersues Zynga Over Copying Claim

Social gaming start-up Vostu has hit back at Facebook giant Zynga's claims that it is blatantly copying its most popular games, by filing a countersuit with the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California.
Social gaming start-up Vostu has hit back at Facebook giant Zynga's claims that it is blatantly copying its most popular games, by filing a countersuit with the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California. Zynga had previously claimed that Vostu "recognized Zynga’s success and developed a scheme by which they would copy Zynga’s specific business model and product strategy, including accessing, copying and using Zynga’s copyrights in its games to create near-identical games and holding them out as Vostu games." In counterclaim documents provided to Gamasutra, Vostu alleges that it is in fact Zynga which models its own games on those of others, and that the social giant is simply trying to cut out the competition. Vostu claims that it was approached by Zynga earlier in the year, with discussions regarding whether Vostu could become Zynga's "international arm." However, after talks were terminated by Vostu in March 2011, it is alleged that Zynga decided to launch a lawsuit as a means of removing competition in Brazil. Vostu claims that, during these initial talks, Zynga did not once mention any copyright infringement allegations. In Zynga's filing, the company provided evidence that Vostu copied its game designs through screenshots showing similarities between games from both companies. As part of its countersuit, Vostu has provided screenshots that, according to Vostu, show that Zynga took ideas from previous releases from other social game companies such as Playfish. Vostu once again called Zynga's original suit "frivolous", and noted, "there is enough room in the category for more than Zynga, even if it doesn’t want to play fair." California-based casual gaming studio SocialApps announced that it has sued FarmVille giant Zynga earlier this week over alleged copyright infringement and breach of confidence.

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