Posts Tagged ‘trademark enforcement’

By: Mark Malek

I have been receiving a multitude of questions lately about use of NFL logos.  I do give these folks a lot of credit for asking an attorney before moving forward with their ideas of using NFL logos.  Most of these folks are asking whether or not they can put NFL logos on certain things and sell them.  For example, the types of things they are looking to manufacture range from t-shirts to crafts to be sold at local craft shows (like a birdhouse having a Jets logo).

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There is “Words With Friends”, “Scramble With Friends”, and now “Bang With Friends”? One of these is not like the others. Sure all are internet applications (apps) that can be downloaded to your smartphone or tablet, but only two are created by the popular gaming company Zynga. The third, “Bang With Friends” or BWF, is not associated with the company at all.

In a recently filed trademark lawsuit against the makers of BWF over the name similarities, Zynga reveals their apps have been downloaded over ten million times and have produced millions in revenue. Representatives from Zynga claim that they approached the creators of BWF informally about its app name, but after talks broke down decided to file a trademark infringement lawsuit which was officially submitted in San Francisco on July 30th. Included in the many complaints contained in the lawsuit is the “illegal free riding on recognized and valuable intellectual property rights” referring to the makers of BWF, Colin Hodge and Omri Mor,  referring to them as“opportunistic”. Zynga is claiming that Hodge and Mor made a purposeful choice to use the “With Friends” suffix in order to capitalize on Zynga’s established reputation.

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FRIDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2014