Zynga suing former employee for stealing trade secrets

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Zynga filed a lawsuit against its former CityVille general manager for the “theft” of its data.

The San Francisco-based studio alleges Alan Patmore, the aforementioned Cityville GM, backed up 760 Zynga documents online before quitting the developer. In the legal filing with the Superior Court of the State of California, Zynga claims Patmore’s allegedly stolen documents contained sensitive information about Zynga’s operations.

The lawsuit contains a list of the type of the data that composes Patmore’s documents, including:

  • How Zynga determines which games and mechanics will be successful.
  • A detailed assessment of every feature in CityVille.
  • Zynga’s plans for new features to strengthen CityVille.
  • The company’s previous attempts to monetize the game as well as its ideas for future monetization.
  • The design documentation for an unreleased game.
  • Zynga’s revenue and employee compensation information.
  • Patmore’s entire email inbox.

In August, Patmore left Zynga to join one of its rivals, Kixeye, as the vice president of product. The Farmville developer did not list Kixeye as a defendant in this case.

On Friday 12, Zynga successfully filed a temporary restraining order on Patmore, which places a legal obligation on him to not disclose or use the data in any way.

We’ll have more on this as it develops. The official Zynga v. Patmore documents are below: