Zynga, Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) defeated Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT), the world’s largest toy maker in a patent infringement case related to the Scrabble trademark.
High Court’s ruling on Scrabble trademark
The High Court of Justice ruled that the online social games developer did not violate the toy maker’s trademark for Scrabble. In its complaint, Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) argued that the word “Scramble” used by Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) in the game Scramble with Friends is too close to the word “Scrabble.”
Justice Peter Smith of the High Court ruled in favor of the social games developer although he said that the curly letter M in the Scramble with Friends logo provides an impression that word looks like scrabble at a glance. Justice Smith said the logo of the game “has the propensity to confuse.”
The decision of the High Court implies that Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) needs to change the design of the Scramble with Friends logo.
Zynga wins over infringement case
Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) won the infringement case based on its argument that the Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT)’s trademark for Scrabble was too vague and it would prohibit any letter and number combination on an ivory-tile regardless of color and size of the characters.
According to the online social games developer, the ivory tile with a black letter-and-number design had too many combinations to be considered a valid trademark.
Early in October, the lower court ruled that the complaint of Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) is an “attempt to claim a perpetual monopoly on all conceivable ivory-colored tile shapes, which bear any letter and number combination on the top surface.” The appellate court agreed to the decision of the lower court and ruled that the claim of the company will provide “unfair competitive advantage.”
Allan Hilowitz happy with court’s ruling
Allan Hilowitz, spokesperson for Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) commented that the company is happy with the ruling of the High Court, but it plans to appeal.
Hilowitz said, “We are pleased that the English High Court today affirmed Mattel’s request for an injunction against Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZUNGA), finding that the similarities between their Scramble With Friends logo and Mattel’s intellectual property likely would confuse the public into thinking they were in fact downloading Scrabble.” He added, “We are, however, disappointed that the court did not rule that Zynga should cease using the Scramble name, which Mattel intends to appeal.”