Zynga Accuses Playdom Of Stealing Trade Secrets, Gets Restraining Order

The legal drama between social gaming rivals Zynga and Playdom moved from claims of misleading ads to accusations of trade secret theft and a temporary restraining order. Zynga sued Playdom in June over supposedly misleading ads. The new suit, reported first by first by TechCrunch, accuses Playdom of stealing trade secrets — including documents that detail the company’s business strategy, called the Zynga “Playbook” — by recruiting current and former employees.

Zynga asked the California State Superior Court for — and received — a temporary restraining order aimed at preventing the employees and Playdom from destroying or using any of the files Zynga claims that were misappropriated. It’s also asking for damages, game royalties, and even wages it may have paid the employees while they were supposedly stealing the information.

In it, Zynga claims former employees David Rohrl, who joined Playdom in May, Raymond Holmes and Martha Sapeta either shared its proprietary game info with Playdom, or were asked to do so by the company’s recruiter.

One employee, for example, is accused of extracting files to a USB drive; another of emailing nearly two dozen files to a separate account. Zynga also claims that Playdom launched an “automated” database attack in January, gaining illegal access to Zynga customers’ info (such as their “chip counts” for games like Texas Hold ‘Em).

Zynga’s Complaint