Zynga sues 'Bang with Friends' sex app for trademark violation

The game maker claims that "Bang with Friends" sounds far too similar to "Words with Friends."

Bang with Friends

It appears that Zynga is not "down to bang" with the casual-sex app "Bang with Friends." The game maker filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against the app's maker for trademark infringement of its "with friends" franchise.

"This is a case about illegal free riding on recognized and valuable intellectual-property rights," Zynga said in a complaint filed in Federal District Court in San Francisco. "The 'WITH FRIENDS' brand is strong and has been associated with one company -- Zynga."

Zynga is referring to its social games that include Words with Friends, Crumble with Friends, Hanging with Friends, Chess with Friends, and more.

"Defendant's 'Bang With Friends' app caught a free ride on the coattails of Zynga's famed WITH FRIENDS family of marks and gained notoriety while simultaneously causing consumer confusion and falsely associating the 'Bang With Friends' app with Zynga," the complaint reads.

Bang with Friends is an iPhone and Android app that helps Facebook users find friends who are "down to bang." The Facebook-connected app first arrived on the Web in January and by May said it had about 1 million one-night-stand seekers. The app's founders have said that they made the app in one night with the help of "a lot of Red Bull and Vodka," according to the complaint.

Besides the suit filed by Zynga, Bang with Friends has experienced other bad luck lately. In May, Apple removed Bang with Friends from its App Store. As of this writing, the app is still unavailable on Apple's App Store but is available on Google Play.

Zynga is asking the court to stop the company from using the "Bang with Friends" title and also pay the game maker unspecified damages.

About the author

Dara Kerr, a freelance journalist based in the Bay Area, is fascinated by robots, supercomputers and Internet memes. When not writing about technology and modernity, she likes to travel to far-off countries.


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