Is It Legal to Use One Trademark to Describe Another Product?

September 15, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

An interesting reprint of a blog post by Zachary Strebeck over at Gamasutra attempts to explain whether someone can get away with using someone else's trademark in marketing their own games. For example, would it be legal to say that your game is "like DOOM with a bit of Oblivion and Borderlands mixed in?"

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Rovio Files Trademark Lawsuit Against Young Star Toys & Gifts

July 23, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Rovio Entertainment has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Young Star Toys & Gifts et al. claiming that the company is selling "counterfeit knockoffs" based on its popular Angry Birds games and characters.

The lawsuit was filed on July 22 in the California Central District Court against the Vernon, California-based company and its president Brian Yang (who is also the agent in residence, which means he deals with all legal issues including lawsuits).

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Nordic Games Owns 'THQ' Trademark

June 13, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Nordic Games wants a recognizable name to put its brand under, and seeing that many of its new brands were bought during the THQ bankruptcy auction, it only makes sense that the publisher would snap up the actual company. Nordic Games says it has every intention of bringing back the THQ name as a label - mostly so they can stop hearing about how nobody knows who they are.

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Honda Jet Removed from 'FlightGear' After Trademark Complaint

June 3, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The open sourced flight simulation game FlightGear has been around on the most popular PC operating systems since 1997. It is frequently updated too, with new aircraft added once in awhile. But one aircraft won't be in the game any longer, thanks to Honda. Honda decided to send a takedown request last week to the makers of the game related to the inclusion of one of its jets. The company told the makers of the game that including it was an infringement of its trademarks.

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Wizards of the Coast Sues 'Hex: Shades of Fate' Makers

May 15, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Dungeons and Dragons and Magic The Gathering owner Wizards of the Coast has filed a lawsuit against Cryptozoic Entertainment and Hex Entertainment related to their digital card game Hex: Shards of Fate. According to the lawsuit the digital collectible card game is a clone of the popular card game Magic: The Gathering.

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King Settles Trademark Disputes With 'CandySwipe' and 'The Banner Saga' Makers

April 17, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Candy Crush Saga maker King has settled two of its most prominent trademark disputes - one with The Banner Saga developer Stoic Studio and the other with CandySwipe developer Albert Ransom. Both developers acknowledged on their respective web sites that they have worked out their problems with King.

Stoic was in a dispute with King over using the term "Saga" in the title of its game, while Candy Swipe developer Albert Ransom was disputing King's trademark claims because his game's release predated the release of Candy Crush Saga.

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3DRealms to Gearbox: 'We Still Own Duke Nukem'

March 27, 2014 - GamePolitics staff

In its ongoing lawsuit over the rights to Duke Nukem, 3D Realms has responded to Gearbox Software's trademark violation lawsuit by claiming that it still owns the license to the franchise. The studio is currently preparing to release Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction, a top-down action game starring the familiar gaming hero.

Last month Gearbox announced it would sue 3D Realms and Mass Destruction developer Interceptor Entertainment for allegedly using the IP it claims it owns without permission.

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'Cut The Rope' Developer Challenges King's 'Candy' Trademark in Europe

March 26, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

UK-based 'Cut the Rope' developer ZeptoLab has filed an official challenge to King's "Candy" trademark in Europe. The company filed its official challenge to the broad trademark on March 20. In the European Union, King still has an active trademark registration for Candy that covers video games, video game services, and clothing. ZeptoLab is strongly objecting to this in that region, noting that no company should holds the rights to such a broad and commonly used term such as "Candy."

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Candy Crush Dev Withdraws Trademark Application For 'Candy'

February 25, 2014 - Andrew Eisen

King, the developer behind Candy Crush Saga, has abandoned its trademark application for the word 'candy' in the U.S.  (AE: Obviously, King is taking steps to ensure it doesn't supplant EA as this year's Worst Company in America!)

In a statement provided to Kotaku, a spokesperson for King said:

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Poll Results: Will King be in Nominated for 'Worst Company of the Year'?

February 25, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Last week in our poll we asked readers if Candy Crush Saga maker "King would be in the running for the Consumerist’s Worst Company in America tournament," and the majority of you said that it would end up being between King and EA, with EA ultimately winning.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 89

February 25, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

On this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the latest GamePolitics poll (Will King be in the running for the Consumerist’s Worst Company in America tournament?), the trend towards consumers choosing digital games over retail game discs, and Capcom's response to offering more gender options for the main character in Deep Down. Download Episode 89 now: SuperPAC Episode 89 (1 hour, 7 minutes) 76.9 MB.

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Trademark Attorney: King Would Be 'Mad' Not to Protect 'Candy' Trademark

February 20, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Speaking to MCV today, Marks & Clerk trademark attorney Aidan Clarke says that King did the logical thing when it tried to trademark "Candy" in the United States with the USPTO. Clarke said that the company would be "mad" not to make such a move to protect its intellectual property.

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USPTO Lists Shenmue Trademark as Cancelled

February 19, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has canceled the trademark for Sega's Shenmue game, according to an entry on its web site. The USPTO lists the registration for the game trademark as cancelled "because registrant did not file an acceptable declaration under Section 8." Section 8 requires that the trademark holder must maintain and renew an "existing registration to ensure that the registration remains live."

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IGDA Comments on King's Ongoing Trademark Battles

February 19, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The International Game Developers Association did something last night that it doesn't normally do: it issued a statement publicly commenting on a feud between several companies over trademarks. But apparently the international organization that represents game developers thinks that Candy Crush Saga maker King is going too far in its ongoing battle to control the trademarks for "Candy" and "Saga."

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 88

February 18, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

On this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about why Flappy Bird was pulled from various App Stores, Candy Swipe v. King, Norwegian killer Anders Brevik asking for a better class of video games in prison, and EA's denial that SimCity and Battlefield 4 had crappy launches. Download Episode 88 now: SuperPAC Episode 88 (1 hour, 7 minutes) 76.9 MB.

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CandySwipe Developer Claims King Bought a Game to Invalidate His Trademark

February 13, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

In an open letter to King, Albert Ransom, independent developer and owner of Runsome Apps Inc., breaks his silence concerning the trademark for his game CandySwipe, which King recently tried to invalidate, despite the fact that the Android game's trademark was filed prior to King's filing for Candy Crush Saga.

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Someone Files Fake 'Express Abandonment' on Watch Dog Trademark, Ubisoft Fights Back

February 4, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Apparently someone has been playing games with the trademark for Ubisoft's Watch Dogs, and while they might think they are being cheeky it is becoming more and more apparent that the person(s) responsible may face serious consequences in the long run. The news came to light in a NeoGAF thread where an eagle-eyed forum user discovered through a U.S. Trademark and Patent Office search that Ubisoft had "abandoned" its trademark with the agency in charge of issuing trademarks.

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Poll Results: King's Candy Trademark

January 28, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

In last week's poll we asked our readers if Candy Crush Saga maker King should be able to trademark the word "Candy" as it relates to games? A majority of the votes (one could even call it a landslide) said that King should not have been able to file for that trademark.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 85

January 28, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

On this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight discuss last week's GamePolitics poll (should King be able to trademark the word "candy" ?), the controversy over YouTube content creators taking money from companies and not disclosing it to viewers, and even more talk about King including accusations that it cloned a game and that it is opposing Stoic's trademark related to The Banner Saga. Download Episode 85 now: SuperPAC Episode 85 (1 hour, 10 minutes) 80 MB.

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Poll: Should the Maker of Candy Crush Have Been Able to Trademark the Word 'Candy'?

January 23, 2014 - Andrew Eisen

Okay, you know the story by now.  King.com, the maker of Candy Crush, has trademarked the word 'candy.'

King.com applied for the mark last year and it was approved on last week on January 15. It covers use of the word 'Candy' in games, game accessories, merchandise and other items.  Companies who oppose this filing have a 30 day window to file a complaint.

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Stoic: The Banner Saga Sequel Held Up By King Trademark Challenge

January 23, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Game developer Stoic says that the sequel to The Banner Saga is basically on hold while it faces a trademark challenge from Candy Crush maker King. King filed for the trademark "Candy" as it relates to games, and it challenged Stoic's filing because of the term "Saga." Now Stoic is saying that it can't imagine making a game about Vikings without using the word.

"We won't make a Viking saga without the word Saga, and we don't appreciate anyone telling us we can't," Stoic told Polygon.

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King Opposing 'The Banner Saga' Trademark

January 22, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

According to a Games Industry International report, Candy Crush Saga makers King (who are trying to get a trademark for the word "Candy") are apparently opposing a trademark filed by The Banner Saga developer Stoic.

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Indie Devs Stick It to Maker of Candy Crush With Candy Jam

January 21, 2014 - Andrew Eisen

Earlier today we wrote about King.com, maker of the so-popular-even-I've-heard-of-it social and mobile game Candy Crush, and how it had successfully trademarked the word 'candy.'  The mark covers use of the word in games, game accessories, and merchandise.

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Candy Crush Saga Maker Files for Trademark of 'Candy'

January 21, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Trademarking a single common word is never a good idea, but that hasn't stopped King.com from attempting to secure a trademark for the word "candy." The company, which makes the ridiculously popular social and mobile game Candy Crush Saga, has filed a patent application for "Candy" with the USPTO. The application, which was filed for last year, was approved on January 15. Companies who oppose this filing have a 30 day window to file a complaint.

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Sega: Shenmue III Trademark a Fake

November 29, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

A trademark unearthed earlier this week attributed to Sega's Shenmue franchise has turned out to be a fake. Sega says that the application for a Shenmue III trademark was not filed by the company and that it is looking into its origins.

"Sega has confirmed that the recent application for the trademark of Shenmue III is a fake and is looking into the origins of this application," the publisher told GameSpot in a statement.

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Zynga Wins 'Scramble With Friends' UK Lawsuit, But Must Alter Game's Logo

November 4, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Zynga has won its Scramble With Friends lawsuit against Mattel in a UK court. The social gaming giant was sued by Mattel, who claimed that Zynga's game was too similar to Mattel's classic word game Scrabble. Mattel filed suit against Zynga arguing that Scramble With Friends was too similar to its own trademarked game, but High Court Justice Peter Smith rejected the claim, with one caveat.

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Vlambeer Renames 'Wasteland Kings' to ' Nuclear Throne ' to Avoid Trademark Dispute

October 1, 2013 - James Fudge

Wasteland Kings has been renamed to avoid a trademark dispute. Super Crate Box and Ridiculous Fishing developer Vlambeer revealed that it has changed the name of its post-apocalyptic rogue-like shooter Wasteland Kings to Nuclear Throne. The name change comes after a branding dispute with inXile Entertainment, whose members made the original Interplay game Wasteland.
 

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Activision Abandons COD: Space Warfare Trademark

August 15, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Activision has let several game trademarks expire, according to GameSpot. Activision has let trademarks for "Call of Duty: Space Warfare" and "Call of Duty: Secret Warfare" expire. Activision filed the trademark application with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) in May 2010, but no game was ever announced.

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Putt Putt Threatens Mojang Over User-Made Maps, Notch Calls Them 'Silly'

July 10, 2013 -

Miniature golf company Putt-Putt golf has threatened to sue Minecraft maker Mojang for maps that feature the putt-putt name, according to Eurogamer. The problem with the threat? The examples they use in pointing out trademark infringement were created by the Minecraft community and not Mojang... Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson posted an image of the cease-and-desist letter on Twitter along with a message that the company was being pretty silly.

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Indie Studio Changes Name of Game to Appease Ubisoft

May 7, 2013 -

Indie game developer Notion Games announced via Twitter that it will change the name of its game, Super Ubi Land, following concerns expressed by Ubisoft over potential confusion and possible brand infringement. Super Ubi Land has no connection to Ubisoft, obviously.

The game was announced in January and successfully raised $6,333 from nearly 300 backers in February on Kickstarter.

The game is being developed for Wii U, Windows PC, Mac and Linux for release later this year.

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NeenekoAh, that old straw man. That is one of the ironies about the discussion, the whole point is showing how good people can still have problems with sexism and not realize it.09/17/2014 - 9:11pm
Andrew EisenYes, there have been a handful of op-eds suggesting that the term “gamer” has become tainted (two that I know of) but that’s the opinion of only a few. I've seen an equal number from those who disagree.09/17/2014 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenExcept, you haven't provided a single example of a site that’s actually calling gamers a "collective of Sexist White Bigoted Basement Dwelling Manchildren."09/17/2014 - 8:55pm
TechnogeekIf you want to make the stereotype of gamers less painful, try calling people out when they do bad shit rather than handwave it away as "not all gamers". Even if it is a few bad apples, that'll still more than enough to spoil the barrel.09/17/2014 - 8:53pm
quiknkoldI'm not going to Sell Gamergate anymore. It can sell itself. But I will sell the integrity of the Gamer. That we are still good people, who create and donate to charitys, Who engage with those around us and just want to have a good time.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldpeople should not be harrassed and punished for the actions of a few. I've always welcomed and accepted everybody who wanted to join in. Who wanted to make them, or play them. I love good strong female protagonists, and want more.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldOne of the tennants of Gamergate is to stand up against Harrassment. That Gamers arent like those assholes. We can argue for days if the Sexism or Antifeminism or corruption is there or not, But the one thing I believe in and wear on my sleave is that09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldBut there were these websites, attacking me and people like me, for the actions of a few. and then others joined in on Twitter and other places. there was a hashtag that said "explain in 4 words a gamer" and it made me sick.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldManchildren who are awful people and that the Identity of the Gamer should die. This hurt me personally. I've always identified as a Gamer. Even in my childhood years, I was a Gamer. All my friends are Gamers. Its one of the core parts of my identity.09/17/2014 - 7:34pm
quiknkoldUltimately, With the whole Gamergate thing, I jumped on it due to the harassment. A small number of assholes harrass Anita and Zoe, and then all the publications lumped together Gamers as this collective of Sexist White Bigoted Basement Dwelling09/17/2014 - 7:34pm
quiknkoldEZacharyKnight : Lemme ask you a question. We have people who cling to walls, people who fire lasers from their eyes, people who can shapeshift....and yet fabric needs to be upheld to RL physics?09/17/2014 - 6:54pm
james_fudgebody paint?09/17/2014 - 5:33pm
E. Zachary Knightquiknkold, I stand corrected on the buttcrack thing. Still, I know of no fabric that actually does that.09/17/2014 - 5:05pm
Andrew EisenSo... it's unethical to discuss the ethics surrounding public interest vs. personal privacy?09/17/2014 - 4:45pm
prh99The source for the game was just released not long ago, it's at https://github.com/keendreams/keen09/17/2014 - 4:43pm
prh99An Indiegogo champagin bought the rights to the early 90's game Keen Dreams to make it open source and release it on GOG etc. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/let-s-get-keen-dreams-re-released-legally09/17/2014 - 4:42pm
james_fudgeAlso http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/09/17/Exposed-the-secret-mailing-list-of-the-gaming-journalism-elite09/17/2014 - 4:29pm
Andrew EisenI read the Kotaku story. Nowhere does it say anything close to "Gamers are white bigoted sexist losers." It's commenting specifically on the crap being slung at people discussing gender issues in games. So, what's the problem?09/17/2014 - 4:06pm
Andrew EisenYeah, I can imagine Spiderwoman posed like in your second link.09/17/2014 - 4:00pm
Andrew EisenThat's not the same pose. Spiderman (who is wearing an actual outfit rather than body paint) is crouched low to the ground. Kinda like a spider! Spiderwoman has her butt up in the air like she's waiting to be mounted.09/17/2014 - 3:59pm
 

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