The lights are on
Early last year, Zynga was sued by Personalized Media Communications (PMC) who claimed that the publisher was infringing on four of its patents. Today, a jury reached a decision finding Zynga not guilty.
The four patents in question covered the personalization of content, targeted advertising, managing downloads, and a few other specific details. You can read more about the lawsuit here. Shortly before the lawsuit began, PMC withdrew infringement claims on two of the patents.
According to a statement from Zynga, the jury in Texas unanimously decided that Zynga did not infringe upon the two patents claimed by PMC. Zynga's deputy general counsel, Renée Lawson, has offered the following statement in regard to the lawsuit:
"We are grateful that a jury in Marshall, Texas unanimously agreed with Zynga that PMC’s patents do not apply to Zynga’s popular social games. Zynga remains committed to doing the right thing by vigorously defending against lawsuits that we believe lack merit. We are very proud of our employees’ hard and creative work and will continue to be relentless in protecting Zynga’s rights and intellectual property on behalf of our employees and our shareholders."
Zynga has veered away from the spotlight for the past few months. This summer the publisher posted $15 million is losses, lost two of its top executives, and gained former president of Microsoft's interactive entertainment business, Don Mattrick, but otherwise the company has been relatively quiet.
Our TakeFor a company that has been struggling in the past year – this is a win. It's difficult to deny that Zynga frequently identifies and capitalizes on successful video game models, but patent law is a separate complicated matter that many companies struggle with. Markus "Notch" Persson, the man behind Minecraft, has had to deal with accusations of patent infringement before, and has been outspoken about the problems that arise in regard to the complicated laws and the people who try to take advantage of them. It's unclear if this lawsuit marks a similar situation or not, but whatever the case, I'm sure Zynga is happy to have some good news to report.
Email the author Kyle Hilliard, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.