Patent Infringement Accusation for Facebook, EA, and Zynga

Tue 6 March 2012 12:00, Vitto Christaldi

Patent Infringement Accusation for Facebook, EA, and Zynga

Facebook, Electronic Arts, and Zynga are being sued by GameTek LLC for patent infringement over US Patent # 7076445: “System and methods for obtaining advantages and transacting the same in a computer gaming environment.” Besides Facebook, Electronic Arts, and Zynga, there are 18 other defendants that are also dragged into court, such as: Wooga, 6Waves, Funzio, RockYou, etc.

The patent was filed in 2000 and was granted in 2006. Last year it was assigned to a Maryland firm serving video game developers, “Theados Corporation”. The firm later transferred the patent on February 2nd, 2012 to the California shell company, GameTek.

Basically, those 21 defendants are sued based on the patent for selling in-game goods using in-game price/currency. Some Facebook games that are sued are: Farmville, Mafia Wars 2, Crime City, and City Airport. 

GameTek was originally a company that published video games for TV game show adaptations. However, in 1997, the company hit bankruptcy and shut down. Yet, the company name still exists until now, as a shell company. Rumors say the company is a so called “Patent-Troll” company; they buy patents with the purpose of solely suing other companies. 

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