Mob Wars, one of the supposed million dollar a month applications, was at the center of a dispute between SGN and David Maestri. According to SGN, the application was developed when Maestri was working at Freewebs, the Silver Spring based internet company that gave birth to what is now called Social Gaming Network. As Dan Kaplan explained back in August,
Almost any tech company makes its employees sign agreements guaranteeing the company the rights to any intellectual property they produce while employed. Freewebs was no exception. And so, in a claim filed on August 11th in Maryland (where Freewebs, is legally registered) Freewebs and SGN have hit Maestri with a litany of charges, including breach of contract, breach of duty, misappropriation of trade secrets and interference with business relations. If the case goes to court and Maestri loses, he may have to surrender not only the rights to Mob Wars, but all the money he has made from its success, as well.
Today, it was announced that the two parties have settled the dispute for a cash settlement. Dave Maestri gets to keep ownership of the application, but this most definitely has been a costly experience for the developer. Mob Wars continues to be extremely popular, experiencing growth in traffic over the past month after a short decrease.
For SGN, the battle must have been fierce as it would be the company’s largest application if they had obtained ownership of application. For now it appears that the battle over the application is over and both parties can return to business as usual. One clear risk as a result of this settlement is that SGN will create an identical application.
Zynga has already done so and now has more active users than Maestri. Could there be another lawsuit in the pipeline for Maestri?