Zynga Responds to EA's Lawsuit
Two huge get ready to duke it out in the courtoom
You may or may not be aware of this, but corporations sue each other all the time. Seriously, it's basically a hobby for them. So if you’ve heard that EA was bringing a suit against Zynga back in August, it's unlikely that you were surprised.
But Zynga has now issued a response after EA claimed that Zynga's Facebook game The Ville infringed the copyright of the EA game, The Sims Social. They responded, alright - with a countersuit and an expensive law firm. Zynga has hired Quinn, Emanuel, Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP, the law firm responsible protecting Samsung's interests in their lawsuit against Apple.
They're claiming that EA only brought up suing after three key EA executives left to Zynga. This caused EA to allegedly demand a ‘no hire’ agreement of Zynga. And if Zynga didn't agree? EA exec John Riccitiello ‘would direct a lawsuit to be filed against Zynga ‘knowing there was no basis and even though he loses’. Zynga agreed to the proposal but EA sued anyway, according to the counter-suit.
No hire agreements are illegal in the U.S. as of 2010, though those agreements were used to keep the peace in technology industries for years. They were particularly popular in places where many similar businesses are gathered such as California.
So is this lawsuit battle going anywhere? Is any of this even plausible?
“This counter-claim is to be expected and no doubt EA would have anticipated it,” Alex Tutty, of media law firm Sheridans, told Edge. “It is difficult to assess the merits of the action for unfair competition based only on Zynga’s filing, but if the statements are true EA may have gone to considerable lengths to prevent its employees from joining Zynga.”
Or in other words, no one is sure who's telling the truth here. And in the legal papers there is a thinly veiled hostility between the two corporations, better fitting of a child calling the other a copycat and the other vehemently denying it.
Do you believe EA have a point? Is making another life simulator game copyright infringement? Or is this all just a bunch of corporate politics with no real crime committed?