Imagination hits back against Zobmondo

Katie Roberts

By Katie Roberts

April 29th 2009 at 10:05AM
Imagination hits back against Zobmondo

Imagination speaks publicly regarding the latest in a series of Zobmondo Entertainment lawsuits.

On March 31st, Zobmondo Entertainment filed a lawsuit against Imagination alleging false advertising.

Imagination CEO, Shane Yeend, said Imagination intends to defend against this lawsuit, which it believes is frivolous.

Contrary to the allegations, the firm says it has not suggested it made the board game version of its Would You Rather…? game before Zobmondo released the board game. 

Imagination says its board game is an original game using content created by Justin Heimberg and David Gomberg, authors of the similarly named book series, which they began in 1997, before Zobmondo had a game on the market.

Justin and David were responsible for the original content that appears in the books and Imagination’s board game.  

Yeend, said: “Unfortunately, this lawsuit is yet another attempt by Zobmondo to use litigation and other improper tactics as a marketing strategy.” 

“We purchased the company Falls Media last year from the owners of the trade marks, copyrights, successful game/humor book series, and the board game based on the book series that was created by Justin Heimberg and David Gomberg, along with the website wouldyourather.com.”  

It has been nearly a decade since Zobmondo’s owner Randy Horn approached the authors and registered trademark owners of Would You Rather...? to buy the trademark. But the parties never reached an agreement.   

Zobmondo says it filed its current lawsuit “to do its part to prevent the proliferation of confusingly similar games.”

In a prior lawsuit, Zobmondo asserted copyright and likelihood of confusion claims against Imagination's predecessor in an attempt to prevent it from releasing its Would You Rather...? board game.  

Those claims were rejected by the United States District Court of California. Yeend said, “Imagination expects to be vindicated in court once again.

“You just have to look at how the Zobmondo game has changed since launch and it tells the story. Even Zobmondo’s early partners refused to use the Would You Rather...? trademark when they licensed the product from Zobmondo Entertainment; they did not even use the words Would You Rather at all on the box.

"It’s easy to see that the Zobmondo game has slowly increased the Would Your Rather wording in the box to the point that the word Zobmondo is now almost lost.  See for yourself.”

Yeend continued: “A judge’s ruling already gives us the right to sell our products and services using the mark Would You Rather...? Now, this time, Zobmondo is arguing that Imagination isn’t allowed to say that Heimberg and Gomberg created an original game.

“Imagination is working through the last court appeal relating to its trademark rights to the phrase Would You Rather...? and, if successful, will seek an injunction against Zobmondo’s continued use of the phrase.

"Even if Imagination’s appeal is not successful, we will continue to have the right to sell our Would You Rather...? board game.”