myFarm developer sues Zynga for copyright infringement

First Zynga sued Vostu for copyright infringement. Now myFarm developer SocialApps is suing Zynga for the same. A complaint filed by the California-based developer claims that Zynga went so far as to steal the source code from myFarm for use in its own farming game, FarmVille.

The complaint, posted at Patent Arcade, explains that SocialApps “alleges that its direct competitor Zynga, cajoled it into sharing its source code with promises of compensation and recognition, and then ran once they got the secret.”

myFarm launched on Facebook in November 2008. FarmVille, meanwhile, came to the social network on June 19, 2009. However, SocialApps didn’t register the copyright for myFarm or its source code until June 14 of this year, three days before filing the suit against Zynga.

And that’s not all that’s strange about the timeline. SocialApps also claims that in May 2009, just one month before FarmVille launched, Zynga attempted to purchase the copyright and source code of myFarm:

“The companies entered into a Letter of Agreement for the source code and, SocialApps was under the impression that Zynga would compensate and credit them for any use of myFarm,” reads the complaint, which also “alleges that after Zynga got confidential source code, SocialApps never heard from Zynga again and couldn’t get in touch with them when they tried.”

SocialApps claims that the company has suffered damages greater than $100,000 and “is seeking permanent injunction, statutory and punitive damages, and attorney’s fees,” as well as “profits and gains from FarmVille since these are in excess of $500,000.”

Finally, the suit also claims that the source code may have been used in other Zynga games, including FrontierVille, CityVille, and FishVille.

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