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Trade mark

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John3xvi
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Joined: 12/31/1969

Hi all,

Say someone publshed a game called BLA BLA GAME and the game became quite succesful.

They never registered BLA BLA GAME as a trade mark, but in the mean time someone else registered BLA BLA GAME as a trademark, and asked the originators of the BLA BLA GAME to no longer use their registered trade mark.

How would this work?
Just a thought.

John.

OrlandoPat
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Joined: 10/16/2008
It's taken care of in the trademark process

Before you get a trademark, you have to do research to make sure that the term (or image) that your trademarking is not already in use.

For example, if I somehow managed to trademark "www.bgdf.com", all the original owners of www.bgdf.com would have to do is prove their prior existence and I'd lose my trademark.

At least, that's how I understand it to work. I could easily be wrong...

Nando
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Joined: 07/22/2008
Trade mark

From what I understand (and I am not a lawyer), trademark comes in two flavors: plain old trademark TM, and registered trademark (R).

I think plain old trademark is sorta like copyright; you own it when you start using it unless someone else can prove they were using it first for a similar product. I think I've also heard that this version of trademark is virtually worthless as far as legal protection goes.

Registered trademark is the same except that the gubbment registers you as the owner and thereby provides more legal cover.

In both cases, the burden is on the trademark holder to defend the mark.

John3xvi
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Trade mark

Thank you both very much.

John.

Lor
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Trade mark

Nando wrote:
From what I understand (and I am not a lawyer), trademark comes in two flavors: plain old trademark TM, and registered trademark (R)..

You place a TM against your product identifier when you formally apply for a trademark. The TM indicates "Trade Mark pending" and nothing more. It has a warning effect on potential infringers, telling them they shouldn't be executing any business plans using your mark or anything close.

I'm not an IP lawyer either, but I have held a trademark-- "seat time" in the subject area, as they say. I understand how it works.

Nando wrote:
I think plain old trademark is sorta like copyright; you own it when you start using it unless someone else can prove they were using it first for a similar product. I think I've also heard that this version of trademark is virtually worthless as far as legal protection goes.

You are not far off, except that it's nothing like copyright,which protects phsyical or "embodied" expression of authorship-- like a game. Trademarks are registered to protect the identifying logo or name of goods and services placed in commerce-- like a game, or product line or an identifying slogan. You have to indicate you're selling your product to apply for a mark, and there is a public review period after you apply, as your mark will be published in the PTO's trademark journal.

Nando wrote:
Registered trademark is the same except that the gubbment registers you as the owner and thereby provides more legal cover.

In that sense, it's like a registered copyright, it puts your work in the official record for purposes of establishing ownership during litigation.

Nando wrote:
In both cases, the burden is on the trademark holder to defend the mark.

And when the mark holder wins, the infringer pays damages and legal costs as well as losing access to the mark.

braincog
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Trade mark

Quote:
You place a TM against your product identifier when you formally apply for a trademark. The TM indicates "Trade Mark pending" and nothing more. It has a warning effect on potential infringers, telling them they shouldn't be executing any business plans using your mark or anything close.

Actually, you do not need to formally apply for a trademark to place a TM on your product. I've been doing it for quite a long time.

See http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/tac/doc/basic/register.htm

According to USPTO, "Any time you claim rights in a mark, you may use the "TM" (trademark) or "SM" (service mark) designation to alert the public to your claim, regardless of whether you have filed an application with the USPTO."

Lor
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Trade mark

Good correction, braincog. I used it when I filed so I assumed that was the *only* time it was legally used. The effect (or lack thereof) is the same, of course, but I like to ability to slap it on there ASAP, whether or not while waiting for circle-R!! Funny, i seem to remember that restriction years ago-- possibly so many people were doing it would be difficult to enforce anyway.

byron
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Why register a trademark that's not your own?

In Taiwan, someone has registered Kosmos, Rio Grande, Gold Sieber, Zoch Zum Spielen.. and others, yet he is not the owner of those publishers. Nor does he manufacture their games. He imports them, distibutes them and sells them retail, but why would he register their trademakes in his name?

Does anyone have an idea why he'd do this? Does it protect him in someway from others importing games from those publishers?

Lor
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Trade mark

Don't know, but it could be he offered it to the publishers as an incentive to allow him to disseminate their products.

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Trade mark

Since we are speaking trade mark, one of my game was inspired from NES a video game called "Nightshade". There is the TM beside "Nightshade". The goal of my game is to somewhat make a board game version of the theme of this game, but I don't use the game story and I will use at most the name of the Hero : "Nightshade"

The trademark is not used anymore and the company who made this game is dead, it was "Ultra" which I think was a sub-division of Konami. According to another thread, the trademark stands for 10 years, so theorically, "Nightshade" is free to be used. But would making a board game with the same theme than the video game conflict with copyrights since copyright stand longer? But since I don't use the game story and artwork, maybe it won't?

I would love to call my game "Nightshade", but as a backup plan I can always call it "Metro City" which was the name of the city in the game and call the hero "Lampshade" which was how the common people called the hero in the game.

FastLearner
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Trade mark

In US law a trademark lasts for ten years (assuming it's protected) but can be renewed indefinitely. That means that the owner can renew it for another ten years, and another, and another, etc.

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