Kixeye has filled a counterclaim against Zynga, claiming the company violated California’s fair competition laws. The suit is a response against Zynga’s fillings against Alan Patmore, a former Zynga executive accused of stealing company secrets.

Kixeye, which was included in Zynga’s original suit, says that Zynga intended to grant itself a competitive advantage by intimidating its employees from leaving for Kixeye. Additionally, Kixeye claims that Zynga wanted to gain information from Kixeye and bog them down in litigation while they pursue mid-core market Kixeye has flourished in.

Kixeye is seeking injunctive relief prohibiting Zynga from interfering with the company’s employment rights, restitution and/or disgorgement, plus attorneys’ fees and costs, among other things.

“We believe Zynga is manipulating the legal process and fabricating claims against Kixeye to access our trade secrets,” said Kixeye CEO Will Harbin. “Their illustrious history of using their legal department to exploit and slander competitors that they can’t otherwise out-perform is well documented. We will not stand for it.”

“We will fight to our last breath to keep this predatory company from accessing our confidential information and best practices. We intend to defend ourselves from Zynga’s legal bullying for as long as it takes to reveal the truth – that Kixeye played no part in this,” added Harbin. “As we have stated previously, we have zero interest in Zynga’s IP or ‘trade secrets.’ Our games are categorically different from theirs in almost every way. Claiming that their failed business practices could inform ours further establishes their complete lack of understanding of the gaming business.”