News Trademarks Video Games

Zynga gets smarter with trademarks and domain registrations, more secretive

Hanging with Friends

It finally looks like Zynga is getting a little bit smarter in terms of domain name registrations and trademark applications. 

Normally, a closely guarded secret by gaming companies, many of Zynga’s yet-to-be released and recently released titles are anything but secret.  But that’s now changing, as the social gaming giant has been on a buying spree of late and is planning for an IPO, it’s getting savvier with its domain name registrations and trademark filings. 

Trademark and yet-to-be released game titles

It’s European trademark filing for Rewardville pinpointed the company as the buyer of the matching domain, before the game was even launched to the public.  Other trademarks have backfired, like that of “ville” which broke here. 

For its latest launch of Empires & Allies, a combat strategy game, Zynga was patient.  The company didn’t file for trademarks in the United States until the same day it unveiled the game on June 1, 2011.  Its European trademark was filed June 2.

Before the Empires & Allies trademark filings though, the company filed other trademarks for unknown titles that news sites and blogs have yet to pick up — like the trademark applications for Mojitomo or Patentville

Adjusting the timing on trademark applications is one thing, but the company finally caught up on domain registrations too.

Zynga’s domain name hints

When I wrote in early May that Zynga registered the domain name and I predicted a Hangman game on the iOS (which it launched a month later), the registrant information was hidden behind GoDaddy’s Private Registration service (Domains by Proxy).  However, the registrant information wasn’t so private after all — as tweeted by Domain Name news in a Twitter message, GoDaddy’s service needs some work. 

After using GoDaddy’s account retrieval system in combination with the domain, a Zynga e-mail address (Email Address:**** was publicly displayed.

It was the same story for

While GoDaddy might not address the issue with its Privacy service, Zynga has.  The company is sticking with GoDaddy to host many of its names, but its now using an email address with a “yahoo” extension.  If you check or today, you’ll see this (Email Address:****

If you thought it was hard before to break a Zynga story, things just got a little harder as its more closely guarding its trademarks and domain registrations.

News Trademarks Video Games

Zynga files trademark in the U.S. for Empires & Allies, launches Hanging with Friends for iOS devices

Empires & Allies

Zynga has filed a trademark application for its newest Facebook game “Empires & Allies” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

It came as no big surprise. 

Zynga filed for the European trademark earlier this month following the announcement of the launch of Empires & Allies.

Goods and Services IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: Class 9: Computer game software; video game programs; and computer software platforms for social networking; interactive video game programs; downloadable electronic game programs and computer software platforms for social networking that may be accessed via the Internet, computers and wireless devices; computer software to enable uploading, posting, showing, displaying, tagging, blogging, sharing or otherwise providing electronic media or information in the fields of virtual communities, electronic gaming, entertainment, and general interest via the Internet or other communications networks with third parties; Magnetic encoded gift cardsIC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: Computer and electronic games provided online, enhancements within online computer and electronic games, and game applications within online computer and electronic games; entertainment reviews of computer games provided online; information relating to computer games provided online; virtual environments in which users can interact through social games for recreational, leisure or entertainment purposes
Standard Characters Claimed  
Serial Number 85335790
Filing Date June 1, 2011
Current Filing Basis 1B;44D
Original Filing Basis 1B;44D
Owner (APPLICANT) Zynga Inc. CORPORATION DELAWARE 365 Vermont Street San Francisco CALIFORNIA 94103
Attorney of Record John M. Kim
Priority Date March 4, 2011
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

Other recent filings by Zynga in the U.S. and Europe include  Mojitomo (details not disclosed), Patentville (details not disclosed), Farmville English Countryside, and of course the controversial word mark “ville”.

In other Zynga news, as I predicted in early May the company launched a hangman game for iOS devices, however, instead of using the domain, the company is using

Disputes Movies News Trademarks

Updates on Top 5 Fusible stories, May

US Navy SEALs coming out of the water

In May 2011, the United States Navy SEALs drew a lot of news coverage on the web following the killing of Osama bin Laden.  But the SEALs weren’t the only story on Fusible that attracted readers.  

Zynga hinted at plans of developing the next top iPhone game with the registration of, the Navy won the battle over the SEAL Team 6 trademark and filed its own marks, Sony Pictures got rights to Kathryn Bigelow’s film about killing Osama bin Laden, former TechCrunch writer Duncan Riley sold The Inquisitr on Flippa for $330,000, and UberMedia gave up its domain claim on

Hangman with Friends– There hasn’t been any news regarding Zynga’s plans for “Hangman with Friends”, other than the company registering the domain name  Considering one of the first word games kids learn to play is hangman, you can bet if Zynga does launch a hangman game on the iPad or iPhone, it could very well be the next top ranking iOS game.   

UberMedia and Twitter– After my story about UberMedia purchasing the domain name was posted, the company deleted the domain from its portfolio.  The good news: the company avoided another possible trademark dispute with Twitter like the one it encountered over UberTwitter.  The bad news: someone in China registered the domain and is now redirecting users to a fake Apple survey page.  These types of websites often lead to scams or other problems for people, like computer viruses.  Either way, it looks like UberMedia made a smart play by dropping the name.  The company just raised another $5.6 million and its entire business revolves around Twitter.

The Inquistr — The Inquisitr ( founded by former TechCrunch writer and b5media co-founder Duncan Riley in May 2008, sold for $330,000 USD on Flippa.   Two days after my story was published, The Inquisitr ran its own story “Duncan dishes on Inquisitr sale, future plans” that said the sale was complete and the site had changed hands.  “With everything said and done, Duncan has disclosed some facts and figures about the sale of the site. Final sale price was 10% over the reserve of $300,000, at $330,000. Keeping in with the threes trend, it went for 30x the monthly net after writers’ expenses” wrote Kim LaCapria. 

Navy’s SEAL Team trademark battle — I was the first to report (before any other news site or blog) that the Department of Navy filed a trademark for “SEAL Team” following Disney’s trademark filings on SEAL Team 6.  The story got immediately picked up by MediaPost who attributed their story here, but other major media outlets that reported on the news shortly thereafter, failed to give credit.  It can be frustrating as a blogger to see so many news sites and blogs not attribute the sources of their articles.  Ultimately, Disney abandoned their trademark filings.

Sony Pictures — reported that Sony Pictures Entertainment acquired the rights to Kathryn Bigelow’s film about killing Osama bin Laden.  Originally called “killing bin laden”, Kathryn Bigelow had apparently decided to change the film’s title.  Regardless, Sony Pictures registered nearly a dozen domain names including  As of today, the film remains untitled, but the domain names have started forwarding to

News Trademarks Video Games

Next top ranking iOS game by Zynga, Hangman with Friends? Company registers

Hangman with Friends

It appears gaming giant Zynga may have plans to develop the next top game to run on products like the iPhone and iPad.  

The name of the game – Hangman with Friends, which would follow its wildly popular Words with Friends game that was voted the #1 favorite app by Wired Magazine in 2009 and played by millions. 

Hangman, would likely work along the same lines as Words with Friends, the Scrabble-like word game that you can play with friends, but instead of Scrabble, players would compete by guessing a word or phrase one letter at a time.

The company registered the domain name this week at GoDaddy according to Whois records.   Though the registrant information is hidden behind GoDaddy’s Private Registration service (Domains by Proxy), registrant information isn’t so private after all for customers paying for the service — as tweeted by Domain Name news in a recent Twitter message.  The same issue plagues many companies, not just GoDaddy.

GoDaddy’s account retrieval system currently displays a Zynga e-mail address (Email Address:**** 

Games with Friends

Newtoy, which was one of many companies acquired by Zynga, originally developed Words with Friends and Chess with Friends.  In October 2010, Words with Friends reached 10 million downloads on the App store.

Zynga looks to be expanding its Games with Friends brands.  In April, the company filed for a trademark on “With Friends” according to Trademarkia.