Rocksmith Sidelined in Europe by Trademark Dispute

October 14, 2011 -

Ubisoft is facing a trademark complaint filed by a rock band that just happens to have the same name as one of its upcoming products. The claim has forced the company to delay the game in question in Europe and defend itself in court. The French publisher announced this morning that its music game Rocksmith won't be released in Europe until sometime in 2012, citing "music licensing" and "other external factors" as the causes.

But the real reason for the delay is because of a UK-based rock band called Rocksmith (who holds the trademark) has filed a complaint. Rocksmith percussionist Kris Ford told Eurogamer this morning that it wanted to work with Ubisoft but was basically ignored until he filed a complaint against the company with the OHIM, the European Union agency responsible for registering trademarks and designs in the EU.

"I wrote to Ubisoft and said, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I already own the name Rocksmith, and I've just discovered you're planning on launching the game," Ford told Eurogamer. "Instead of messing around getting involved in big legal issues, why don't we do some kind of deal, because obviously I've got the band, you've got the game, the two would work well side-by-side.

"We could promote the game, you could promote the band - we'll even give you some songs to put on there."

"And they just ignored me," Ford said.

When he filed formal opposition against Ubisoft's application for the game, the publisher finally took heed, he claims.

"I couldn't not oppose it," he explained, "because if I let it slip, then I'd miss the boat. So I had to make a formal opposition, which I did do, and lo-and-behold in three days I got a letter from Ubisoft saying, 'Oh, yeah, in response to your earlier letter...' And of course I just laughed because it was obvious that they hadn't responded to my earlier letters, they'd responded to my formal opposition."

Ford alleges that Ubisoft has threatened him with a defamation of character action for comments he's made in the media.

"I'm not quite sure what they mean by that," he admitted. "They were just being bullies I think, because there's nothing I've said that can't be backed up with absolute fact. I've got documents proving that I registered the name."

Ford suspects that the process will be slow and that it could take as long as February of next year before his complaint is addressed. He goes on to say that the ball is Ubisoft's court, and that he's willing to hammer out a deal, but time is not on Ubisoft's side; the longer they take the more it will cost them, he says.

Ubisoft confirmed the complaint and said that it respected the process:

"We confirm that Christopher Ford has filed a complaint regarding our request to trademark the name Rocksmith for a video game," Ubisoft told Eurogamer in a statement. "We respect the rules that the trademark office has set up to handle this kind of issue and will respond accordingly."

Source: Eurogamer


 
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Zenpretty well without getting "nasty". Many people are disappointed in the decision and the about face on the status of the games development.05/25/2015 - 4:22pm
ZenEvery market has horrible people...but being like this towards all of them in a group is not a way to garner support and can make people more hostile towards you. Ironically his response was to someone that wanted to state a disagreement, but worded it05/25/2015 - 4:22pm
Goth_SkunkAs demonstrated by Ian's remarks, that 'market of possible fans' is apparently negligible.05/25/2015 - 4:18pm
Zeninformation while other versions had everything talked about openly.05/25/2015 - 4:15pm
ZenYeah, I've read through it and wanted to make sure I had it quoted correctly. I get there are issues, but this is horribly unprofessional and just burning a market of possible fans..many of which supported them and were waiting while getting little to no05/25/2015 - 4:15pm
Goth_SkunkOh wow. That's not even misquoted, he actually said that. Though for additional context in previous pages, he truly does not think highly of Nintendo console owners, and claims that in the industry, he's not alone.05/25/2015 - 4:12pm
ZenI also took a screenshot of the statement in case it is taken down (via my Twitter): https://twitter.com/zenspath/status/60293960536562483205/25/2015 - 4:05pm
ZenLink for my previous post - http://forum.projectcarsgame.com/showthread.php?27584-Project-Cars-Sales-figures&p=942776&viewfull=1#post94277605/25/2015 - 4:03pm
ZenProject Cars basically canceled for Wii U, Slightlymad Studios Head, Ian Bell, states "Yup, and if you need to pass this on, we really dislike Nintendo users" on Forum to Wii U players waiting for the game and disappointed in the news.05/25/2015 - 4:03pm
Goth_SkunkAnd now, a humorous gif. Oblivious Otter is Oblivious. http://i.imgur.com/zdUZOWo.gif05/25/2015 - 3:49pm
Goth_Skunka bonified game dev.05/25/2015 - 3:45pm
Goth_SkunkGranted, most of that feedback is going to be vicious, but if a novice dev knows full well not to expect their hastily strewn together game as the next Grand Theft Auto, such curmudgeonly feedback shouldn't deter them from their ultimate goal of becoming05/25/2015 - 3:45pm
Goth_SkunkAdditionally, Steam is a platform whereby these novice devs can showcase what they were able to put together and see what kind of feedback they can get from the community.05/25/2015 - 3:44pm
Goth_SkunkI don't think it's wrong for a novice dev to want to recover any losses from people willing to pay money for what they have produced, either. After all, every game dev had to start somewhere.05/25/2015 - 3:41pm
Goth_SkunkI disagree. I think that for novice developers, this tactic still at a fundamental level teaching someone the ins and outs of video game development.05/25/2015 - 3:41pm
PHX Corp@MW There are things that developers are doing that drive me up the Wall as a consumer, reused Unity assets is no Exception to said rule05/25/2015 - 2:17pm
Matthew Wilsonhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5svAoQ7D38k this is stupid, and the fact its allowed is stupid.05/25/2015 - 1:52pm
james_fudgeHappy Memorial Day to everyone05/25/2015 - 7:13am
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