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Judge Grants Zynga Injunction Against Vostu

Judge Grants Zynga Injunction Against Vostu

August 5, 2011 | By Mike Rose

Social games giant Zynga has been granted a preliminary injunction in its lawsuit against start-up studio Vostu, with a judge ruling that Vostu must remove its games within 48 hours.

Farmville developer Zynga filed a lawsuit against Vostu in June, claiming that the company was blatantly copying its most popular games.

Vostu later countersued, noting that it was in fact Zynga which models its own games on those of others, and that the social giant was simply trying to cut out the competition.

Zynga also added Google to the lawsuit, noting that the company's social networking site Orkut, popular in Brazil, is currently hosting Vostu's games.

A judge sided with Zynga, meaning that Vostu must remove its games Megacity, Cafe Mania, Pet Mania and Vostu Poker from both Facebook and Orkut within 48 hours of the hearing, with a daily fine of R$20,000 ($12,661) incurred for every day after that.

In a press statement received by technology site TechCrunch, a Zynga representative explained, "Zynga is pleased that the Court has reviewed the evidence and found good cause to issue an injunction order requiring Vostu and Google Orkut to cease distribution of four Vostu games - MegaCity, Cafe Mania, Pet Mania and Vostu Poker - or be subject to fine by the Court."

"The Court's action reflects the seriousness of this matter and the irreparable harm Zynga is suffering due to Vostu's copying. It also takes into account the need to protect Brazilian consumers from acts of infringement and unfair competition."

In a statement issued by Vostu, a representative from the company said that it plans to appeal the ruling.

"Vostu will vigorously appeal this ruling, which we firmly believe has no merit," it said. "This is a desperate and misguided legal tactic by Zynga, a foreign company with no real Brazilian roots -- a company that has failed to secure a foothold in the local marketplace and failed to win consumers who have clearly shown they prefer the superior games created by Vostu's Brazilian team.

"We are confident the Court of Appeals will reverse the injunction, when presented with Vostu's position and its full story."

[UPDATE: A California federal judge has barred Zynga from enforcing the Brazilian court injunction, pending further hearings.]

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