Zynga Settles With Former Employee Over Allegations of Theft of Trade Secrets

Zynga has reached a settlement around a lawsuit last year that accused a former general manager of “wholesale theft” of the company’s trade secrets after he left for rival social gaming startup Kixeye.

Alan Patmore was the general manager of one of Zynga’s most lucrative titles, Cityville. But Kixeye poached him to become vice president of product in September of 2012.

About a month later, Zynga filed a complaint against Patmore saying that he stored more than 760 documents from his work computer in Dropbox before his last day. The company said these files contained design documents for unreleased titles, future monetization plans and compensation information on employees. They later added Kixeye as a defendant.

Patmore said in a statement today: “I accept responsibility for making a serious mistake by copying and taking Zynga confidential information when I resigned from Zynga. I understand the consequences of my actions and I sincerely apologize to Zynga and my former colleagues.”

Both companies would not disclose whether there was a cash component to this settlement. They issued a joint statement: “Zynga Inc. and KIXEYE Inc. have reached a mutually agreeable settlement of their litigation involving Alan Patmore in San Francisco Superior Court.”

Zynga was founded in July 2007 by Mark Pincus and is named for his late American Bulldog, Zinga. Loyal and spirited, Zinga’s name is a nod to a legendary African warrior queen. The early supporting founding team included Eric Schiermeyer, Michael Luxton, Justin Waldron, Kyle Stewart, Scott Dale, John Doerr, Steve Schoettler, Kevin Hagan, and Andrew Trader. Zynga’s mission is connecting the world through games. Everyday millions of people interact with their friends and express their unique personalities through our…

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Founded in 2007, KIXEYE (formerly Casual Collective) is an independent game developer that makes games for gamers by gamers. Responsible for popular titles like Desktop Defender, Backyard Monsters, Battle Pirates and War Commander. KIXEYE is the first to deliver proper game play experiences on social networks. The company is based in San Francisco and backed by Trinity Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

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