Fans Trademarking Video Game Content
neat, huh? a few passionate gamers just taking the next step.
well. the bizarre part comes into play when they or others are using that in game. a few crazy questions.
- what are the legal ramifications of the name showing up in world of warcraft? blizzard doesn’t own the trademark, so, do they have to get explicit permission to display the name to other players? it is their game which is conveying the message.
- what about other players in wow? can the syndicate sue other players in world of warcraft if they use the name in game without their permission? is blizzard responsible since they ‘own’ the other players in the game?
- can they force other guilds to change their name in other games?
- do they send the cease and desist letters to other game makers or the players?
- can they demand identities of other players using their trademark? similar to the tactic the riaa is using with isps?
- what about world of warcraft’s npc group called “the syndicate”? what about other entertainment properties?
where does all of this end? what sort of legal precidents will come out of this?
truly one of the most interesting turns in the “who owns the content” battle just on the horizon.
wow. just went and actually read their take on the trademark. makes me kinda shudder.
In gaming terms, the trademark enables us to approach Game Publishers, Game Developers, Internet Service Providers and any gaming related sites/services and require that they deny use of The Syndicate® to any other group but ours. The sole legal right to use The Syndicate® for all Online Gaming uses resides with us. Any other uses of it are in violation of the law.
arm barring game developers into complying? sounds like a reason for the “banhammer” to me. what happens, tho, when a guild has more members than a game can afford to lose? erg. unionized players?
Blizzard was extremely supportive and helpful with enforcing our mark on Day 1 of their final. A guild tried to take our name and we quickly sent off a letter to the powers that be at Blizzard with issue along with supporting information for our mark. On launch day, where a million people were trying to get into the game, within an hour of the email going out, wheels were already turning and our trademarked guildname was soon awarded to us. That level of customer service is simply amazing and we were very grateful to Blizzard for taking such a strong, immediate and active interest in enforcing our trademark.
god bless market forces, i guess.