Zynga sues own employee for stealing "trade secrets"

Jeffrey Grubb at Venturebeat: "Zynga claims [former executive Alan] Patmore’s allegedly stolen documents contained sensitive information about Zynga’s operations."

The secrets are said to include how Zynga determines what to include in its titles and plans for new features. Since there's a gag order on the actual details, does this meant that no-one on the Internet is allowed to discuss this week's new indie games at the appstore?


  1. So the headline should read “Zynga sues former employee because they believe he stole trade secrets”

  2. I actually skimmed/read the complaint, since the article actually included it (YAY!)

    The allegation is that the now ex-employee, on his last day of employment, gathered 700+ internal Zynga documents and dumped them into his dropbox account, then tried to erase the evidence, including pretty detailed information on what worked to extract revenue in CityVille, new games in development by Zinga, all executive level email, etc…

    If they have the forensics to back up the claim, its really an open-and-shut case, and their employee is a slimy scumweasle who should never work in the industry again.  Its crap like this that causes employers to try to insert noncompete clauses.

    And cute comment, but there is a gag order on the PARTICIPANTS, but not on anyone not involved in the case.  So we can look at the app store all we want, to see what Zynga will rip off next.

      1. If you’re dropboxing on your last day without using appropriate proxy software and encryption to make it impossible to know what the fuck you sent to where, just that a bunch of data left your machine, you’re going to suffer the consequences of playing that game.

    1.  Soooo… basically he was acting like a model Zynga employee. I thought scumweasel was in the list of resume keywords they look for.

  3. Sooo… Zynga is suing the guy because they’re worried that somebody will try to rip off their ideas… the irony is killing me haha

  4. I’m not sure why there is a negative tone about this. Trade secrets are a great way to let a company retain the value of its work without requiring copyright or patents. This employee has a contract in place with the company to not divulge information. It is obvious it doesn’t apply to anyone without such a contract.

    Also, it seems like this underestimates what actually makes zynga games good. People on the thread act like copying a game mechanic or theme is bad. Considering almost every FPS is identical, I find this odd. No, what makes them compelling as a business is their strategies around premium content, re-engagement, social features, viral flows, etc.

    Whether that is applied to a farm sim or a city sim, it doesn’t matter.

Comments are closed.