Promotional Technologies LLC v. Facebook, Inc. et al
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
Case No. 3:2011cv03488, Filed On December 15, 2011
In addition to the numerous other legal battles that Facebook has been fighting in court, Promotional Technologies has sued Facebook and Zynga for infringing one of its patents regarding an online game designed to promote websites. The relevant patent, titled “Website Promotional Applet Process,” covers a game application accessed through a host web site that launches the promotional applet. The user is required to browse through sponsor websites that have paid a fee to be included in the promotional system, looking for and matching certain indicia. At the end of the game, the user would receive a prize. The purpose of this system appears to be to provide a method for promoting websites while encouraging users to revisit and browse through them. In its complaint, Promotional Technologies alleged that Facebook and Zynga infringed upon this patent through several games including Farmville, MafiaWars, and “other online games in which users can earn virtual prizes.” Promotional Technologies further alleges that at least claim 13 of its patent has been infringed, covering “a system for promoting a plurality of sponsor sites in communication with a communication network.” Very little about the Plaintiff company is known except that it registered with the Texas Secretary of State on December 14, 2011.