Zynga has officially responded to copyright infringement claims by EA, stating that EA's claims "have no merit."
Zynga's official statement on the matter comes from General Counsel for Zynga Reggie Davis, who said:
"Today we responded to EA's claims which we believe have no merit. We also filed a counterclaim which addresses actions by EA we believe to be anticompetitive and unlawful business practices, including legal threats and demands for no-hire agreements. We look forward to getting back to focusing all our efforts on delighting our players."
Joystiq reached out to EA for comment, where they were informed by EA spokesman John Reseburg, that "this is a predictable subterfuge aimed at diverting attention from Zynga's persistent plagiarism of other artists and studios. Zynga would be better served trying to hold onto the shrinking number of employees they've got, rather than suing to acquire more."
EA believes that the Ville's "infringement of The Sims Social was unmistakable to those of us at Maxis as well as to players and the industry at large."
Zynga is demanding a jury trial questioning what rights EA actually owns. Zynga's response states, "the two games at issue in EA's Complaint, Zynga's The Ville and EA's The Sims Social, belong to a longstanding and well-developed genre known as 'life simulation' games. No one, including EA, may lay claim to the exclusive right to develop and release games in that genre, or to employ the common modes of expression and functional elements that must of necessity be used in the genre and that have come to characterize it."
Zynga is arguing that modes of expression in this particular genre, "such as sitting on a couch watching TV, taking a shower, and going to sleep in a bed...are not protectable." Zynga believes that "allowing one company to own them would thwart competition, innovation, and creativity." Zynga's response adds that using these common functions is "not copyright infringement; it is how a genre is expressed."
Does Zynga have a point, or do you believe EA is in the right?