Intellectual property developer Personalized Media Communications has sued social games giant Zynga in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, citing infringement of four of its patents.
PMC alleges that a number of Zynga's titles, including Words with Friends, CityVille
, use PMC's patented technology.
Four patents in particular are named -- numbers 7,797,717
-- covering "the use of control and information signals embedded in electronic media content to generate output for display that is personalized and relevant to a user."
Other aspects of basic functionality covered by the patents include controlled access of media content, personalized content based on individual attributes, management of downloading technologies, network management, control of targeted advertising, and purchase of media and other products.
PMC founder John C. Harvey explained, "Many years of time and labor went into developing our inventions and securing the patents that permit their practice. It wouldn’t be right to sit by and allow them to be infringed."
Gamasutra has contacted Zynga for a response to the allegations.