Virtual Worlds are the Subject of Copyright Infringement Allegations
Electronic Arts (“EA”) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District court for the Northern District of California alleging that Zynga’s “The Ville” infringes on EA’s “The Sims Social”. EA’s position is that the two Facebook based social games are “largely indistinguishable to an uninitiated observer.”
The stakes in this intellectual property battle are high, as both games are highly popular and substantial revenue generators for their respective companies. Zynga could not only lose the opportunity to market The Ville in the future, but also could be liable for actual damages measured by (i) a disgorgement of its own profits resulting from the infringement or (ii) EA’s lost profits resulting from the infringement.
Renee Howdeshell is a founding member of Fulcrum Inquiry, an accounting, finance and economic consulting firm that performs damage analyses for commercial litigation, forensic accountings, royalty & distribution audits, financial investigations, and business valuations. Ms. Howdeshell holds a degree in Finance and Marketing from the University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). She has testified as an expert witness in federal court, CA state court and arbitration regarding the results of her work. She can be reached at (213) 787-4112 and her resume is available at www.fulcrum.com.
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