EA and Zynga Quietly Resolve Copyright Dispute Out of Court

In federal court today, all lawsuits related to Electronic Arts’ claim that Zynga copied one of its Facebook games were dismissed.

the_ville_sims_social

According to a filing in the U.S. District Court of Northern California, the entire case was dismissed with prejudice. Both companies issued identical statements on the subject: “EA and Zynga have resolved their respective claims and have reached a settlement of their litigation in the Northern District of California.”

If you don’t recall, EA filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Zynga in August, charging that Zynga’s social game The Ville was an “unmistakable copy” of EA’s The Sims Social. The complaint was seeking injunctive relief and damages.

The following month, Zynga filed a pair of motions to rebut Electronic Arts’ claims, arguing that The Ville on Facebook is not similar to EA’s The Sims Social. And, in a third filing, it countersued, alleging that EA participated in unlawful actions, including anti-competitive business practices, when it came to recruiting employees.

All of the cases have now been dismissed. The terms of the settlement are confidential, so exactly how the two companies worked out their differences is not known.

But in some respects, the issues EA had surrounding The Ville should no longer be a concern.

In October, Zynga said it was “significantly reducing” its investment in The Ville as part of a restructuring plan that is designed to return the company to profitability. The Ville was just one of more than a dozen games being phased out.


Electronic Arts Vs. Zynga


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus