Disney's Playdom Settles Zynga Theft Claims Out of Court

Disney settled out of court a lawsuit filed by Zynga alleging theft of trade secrets.

Disney’s Playdom and Zynga settled out of court a case based on theft of trade secrets. The details of the settlement remain confidential, according to the two companies.

Zynga had accused Playdom of stealing a so-called “Playbook, “literally the recipe book that contains Zynga’s ‘secret sauce,” according to documents submitted to Santa Clara County court in California.

The court documents also stated that Playdom asked candidates for job interviews to compare and contrast the two companies’ games and suggest new features. Zynga claimed in court that its “Mafia Wars” trademark was infringed upon by Playdom’s game “Mobters.”

Today’s settlement resolves those issues along with claims against the co-defendants who used to work for Zynga, including Raymond Holmes, a former senior systems designer; David Rohrl, formerly director of game design for Zynga.

Zynga’s General Counsel, Reggie Davis, said in a prepared statement emailed to AllFacebook.com and other media outlets:

Zynga is extremely pleased with the final resolution of its trade secret suit against Playdom and various individuals. The settlement reflects the very serious nature of the conduct involved, as reflected by the preliminary injunction, restraining orders, and contempt order issued by the Santa Clara Superior Court. We have great respect for Disney and are thankful that following its acquisition of Playdom, Disney resolved the matter to our satisfaction.

You really do have to admire Walt Disney for the way it handled this lawsuit. Another company might have bailed on acquiring Playdom based on the severity of the claims by Zynga.

Readers, do you think the outcome of this lawsuit will help or harm Playdom’s efforts to gain more players for games on Facebook? What about Zynga?