Educational publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is suing Zynga in an attempt to prevent the social game studio from using the name Oregon Trail. The suit alleges that original Oregon Trail developer and HMH subsidiary The Learning Company approached Zynga in 2008 to discuss the creation of a Facebook version of its game.
The Learning Company instead collaborated with Blue Fang Games on the update, which was released earlier this year. However, Zynga has concurrently developed an Oregon Trail expansion for Frontierville which is scheduled for launch on May 30.
The Learning Company claims that it owns the trademark for the Oregon Trail name and has requested damages, though no amount has been specified.
The company's complaint claims that the use of its intellectual property is "deliberate theft of the goodwill associated with the iconic The Oregon Trail Mark, which the company has spent millions of dollars promoting since 1971."
"There can be no doubt that Zynga’s adoption of an identical and confusingly similar mark is willful and intended to free-ride on the established goodwill of The Oregon Trail Mark," the document adds.
Source: Universal Hub