A legal complaint has been filed against social network game maker Zynga by Personalized Media Communications (PMC), saying that patented personalisation technology had been unlawfully used.
"Many years of time and labor went into developing our inventions and securing the patents that permit their practice. It wouldn't be right to sit by and allow them to be infringed," said the founder of PMC, John C Harvey.
This isn't the usual Zynga suit either. The most recent complaints from other companies about the Facebook game giant have been to do with blatant game rip offs and concept theft - something that's notoriously hard to prove. However, Zynga could be in slightly hotter water here as the charge this time around is patent infringement, something that companies like Apple have turned into an art form and a new income stream in one stroke.
Zynga is being charged with infringing patent numbers 7,797,717, 7,908,638, 7,734,251 and 7,860,131, all of which cover "the use of control and information signals embedded in electronic media content to generate output for display that is personalized and relevant to a user."
As with a lot of patent infringement suits the wording in the original filings is loose, allowing for some interpretation. Many are claiming that this is a scam targeted at successful Zynga. While there is some argument against this claim, everyone seems to agree that the American patent system needs an overall as it not only allows for exploitation but extreme time wasting.
In a nutshell, it's something that it halts innovation in its current form and needs to be streamlined while protecting intellectual property. Good luck figuring out how to do that fairly.