Electronic Arts, the maker of the popular Sims line of video and computer games, has sued Zynga, the software firm that supplies Naples smartphone users with Draw Something and other popular games.

Essentially, Electronic Arts is claiming that Zynga’s Facebook-based game “The Ville” is a facsimile of its own game “The Sims Social.”

While video games may seem like they are not worth suing over, the opposite is, in fact, true. Video games, social media-based games and game apps are surprisingly big money these days.

A spokeswoman for Electronic Arts said the company wasn’t just irked over “superficial resemblances” between “The Ville” and “Sims Social.” She said that Zynga’s “design choices, animation, visual arrangements, and character motions and actions have all been directly lifted from ‘The Sims Social.'” She claimed the copying was so bad that to an “uninitiated observer,” the two games were indistinguishable from one another.

Zynga has not responded directly to the lawsuit, but this is not the first time the company has been accused of stealing other game-makers’ concepts. In January, a company called NimbleBit said Zynga’s “Dream Heights” was a ripoff of its own “Tiny Tower.”

Our office works with companies that want to acquire copyrights, or have already acquired them and want to make sure they protect them and don’t allow others to abuse them. If you want to learn more about what we do, a good place to start collecting more information might be the copyright page on our Intellectual Property website. The information you will find there should hopefully answer some initial questions you have about this area.

Source: USA Today, “EA sues Zynga, cites copyright infringement,” Brett Molina, Aug. 3, 2012