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Bethesda Legal Team Pressures ‘Fortress Fallout’ Devs to Change Name

Legal representatives for Fallout 3 publisher Bethesda Softworks have sent a cease and desist letter to Xreal, an indie studio currently working on “Fortress Fallout”, demanding the developer change the game’s title and no longer applies for its trademark.

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DarkOcelet1034d ago

The game has no resemblance whatsoever to Fallout. This is pretty stupid.

mkis0071034d ago

Sue Fall out Boy while their at it. They own pip-boy? Double infringing .

/s

Pintheshadows1034d ago

When will corporations realise that they do not own WORDS.

lemoncake1034d ago

Only problem is that they do.

EZMickey1034d ago (Edited 1034d ago )

This is the common misconception about trademarks. There is no law or legal system that allows anyone to own exclusive use of a word. That's not what a trademark is.

A trademark is concerned with the brand, logo and industry. Anyone in the world can use the word Fallout in a product, but if your product is a video game, it's competing in the same industry as Zenimax's game and they have a right to ask you not to use that name. Likewise if your product is UNRELATED to video games but your logos and branding are very similar it's also competing.

Games media will never tell you this because they don't profit by informing you, they profit by outraging you and in this case they're doing it by painting Zenimax as a big corporation who's 'bullying' the little guy.

The reality is that it's your responsibility as a trademark holder to protect your brand. If Zenimax doesn't do this, the result is that if someone legitimately tried to plagiarize or infringe on their brands they would have a much harder time protecting it in a court of law. Ask any lawyer.

LoveSpuds1034d ago (Edited 1034d ago )

As a trademark examiner in the UK I can tell you that for the most part you are spot on.

The most important consideration faced by any examiner is in assessing the distinctive character in any application before them.

In this instance, the word Fallout in respect of software would be viewed as being very distinctive. It doesnt describe a characteristic of the goods in any way and is not a term often used in respect of software.

With this in mind it is likely that any subsequent mark that included Fallout as a dominant element of their trademark (in a word only mark for example) would likely be cited as an earlier right.

Where misuse of trademarks occur is where a mark like 'Candy' is registered by King and then they try to enforce their IP by opposing to marks such as 'Candy Dandy' (I made that title up btw).

In this instance, the word candy on its own is seen as low in distinctive character whereas the combination 'Candy Dandy' is much more distinctive.

In reality it is remote in the extreme that a hearing officer would agree that there is a liklihood of confusion because Candy is so weak, but thd little guy doesnt know any better and also has to risk incurring potentially expensive costs if he loses.

YodaCracker1034d ago (Edited 1034d ago )

This reminds me of when Bethesda sued Mojang for using the word "scrolls" as the title of their game:

http://www.gamespot.com/art...

EliteGameKnight1034d ago

I kind of have Bethesda noted in my mind as that one company that makes good games but has a law team that will jump at any opportunity to shut other projects down for sharing a single word. Mojang's Scrolls all over again....

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