The Learning Company has sued Zynga for infringing its trademark for “The Oregon Trail” video games. Zynga intends to sell its own version of the classic frontier-era game under the name “FrontierVille Oregon Trail.” According to the complaint, Zynga was well aware of the “The Oregon Trail” game because the two parties previously held discussions about collaborating on a Facebook version of the game. The Learning Company had even gone so far as to share its development plans, sales and brand history with Zynga. The complaint claims that Zynga’s version has the same name, same theme, similar cartoon look and feel, and the same advertising audience. The characters in both games even suffer the same maladies (though Zynga refers to dysentery as the “Rocky Mountain Scoots”). The alleged facts imply a high likelihood of confusion.
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- Time Warp: March 11, 1997 (Fair Use in News Reporting)
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- Time Warp: February 7, 2005 (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame v. Jewish Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)
- Time Warp: December 4, 2008 (Joe Satriani v. Coldplay)
- Time Warp: November 15, 2007 (Barry Bonds)
- Time Warp: October 16, 2007 (Fantasy Sports)
- Time Warp: October 6, 1983
- Time Warp: October 1, 2009
Time Warp: October 3, 2007 (Family Guy)
On this day in 2007, the copyright owner of the song “When You Wish Upon A Star” sued the makers of Family Guy for copyright infringement.
Time Warp: March 11, 1997 (Fair Use in News Reporting)
On this day in 1997, the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held that a television station’s unauthorized broadcast of footage from the Rodney King riots was not fair use.
Time Warp: December 4, 2008 (Joe Satriani v. Coldplay)
On this day in 2008, guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani sued Coldplay for copyright infringement.
Time Warp: November 15, 2007 (Barry Bonds)
On this day in 2007, Barry Bonds was indicted for making false statements to a grand jury regarding his use of steroids.
Time Warp: October 16, 2007 (Fantasy Sports)
On this day in 2007, a federal court held that the First Amendment protects the right of fantasy sports leagues to use statistics and players’ names without permission.
Time Warp: October 6, 1983
On this day in 1983, a federal court held that the television show “The Greatest American Hero” did not infringe the rights to Superman.
Time Warp: October 1, 2009
On this day in 2009, David Letterman announced on air that he was a victim of an extortion attempt.
Time Warp: September 17, 1787
On this day in 1787, delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia signed the U.S. Constitution.
Time Warp: September 6, 1985 (John McEnroe)
On this day in 1985, the New York Supreme Court held that John McEnroe was not liable for threatening, and then taking a swing towards, a fan at the U.S. Open.
Time Warp: August 25, 1997 (Eastwood v. National Enquirer)
On this day in 1997, the Ninth Circuit held that the National Enquirer violated the Lanham Act and the California right of publicity by publishing an “exclusive interview” with Clint Eastwood that never actually occurred.