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parasolstars

Trademark conflict?

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parasolstars    100
If one purchases something like SuperStarGames.com and there is already a SuperStarSoft.com that is an established business with the 'SuperStar Soft' trademark, will it definitely escalate into legal disputes? I wonder since if you search for 'SuperStar' in the trademark database, so many different businesses with 'SuperStar' as part of their name come up.

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Extrarius    1412
I'm not a lawyer, but according to my understanding of US law, a company must defend a registered trademark against all known infringements or it will lose the trademark. I have no idea what, exactly, contitutes 'trademark infringement', though. You could probably find helpful information somewhere on the United States Patent and Trademark Office website.

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Extrarius    1412
Quote:
Original post by TheTroll
Web site names are not covered by Trademarks.

theTroll
Domain names might not be, but a website name isn't any different than the name of any other publication and very likely is. Also, I believe it is possible for a company to 'sue' you if they have a trademark that your domain name infringes upon, with the penalty that you must sell them the domain name for a reasonable (in the eyes of the court) price.

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parasolstars    100
I did some search. The text "SuperStar" is considered a weak trademark; mostlikely other "SuperStar whatever companies" can't do much about it if another "SuperStar" appears.

Realistically, I wonder if some company registers RockStar Soft doing enterprise apps, would RockStar Games complain since both are software.

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Binomine    611
IANAL, taking advice from be is a bad idea, especially after I've had a few jack and cokes, but...

The way I understand it, is if you can confuse the businesses, then it's infringement. Tiny Firewall is not going to be confused with Tiny games, so it depends on what the software company does.

My personal suggestion, if you don't already have cash for a lawyer, choose another name. Domain names are pretty darn cheap, consider it a $20 business lesson.

And Extrarius, a company has two choices, they can either defend it, or pretend it doesn't exist until they can't. The latter mentality basically is, if we don't know about it, we can't defend it. We're not looking; don't make us look. That's how crazy things like http://www.dragon-warrior.com/ exist, even though it shouldn't.

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Obscure    175
Binomine is right. You can have lots of companies with the same name provided that they are in different industries. Starboink games won't clash with Starboink shoes and as such wouldn't be trademark infringement.

If the other company is a games company then you would be wise to pick a new name. If they are not then you should be OK.

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Maega    707
Quote:
Original post by TheTroll
Web site names are not covered by Trademarks.

theTroll


Where'd you get that from?

Domain names can be covered by Trademarks.

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Talroth    3247
Something I've wondered a few times is can someone really defend the use of 'common words/phrases'

Awhile ago I saw a title "Art of War" somewhere, can someone really hold the rights to a title like that. (it being the translated title of a book, something like 1000 years old) Even if they are similar?

Civilization is even a better example. It is a single word, and we are all part of a civilization, does defining it as your own game "Talroth's Civilization" make it different enough from "Sid Meier's Civiliztion" games, or will you get your pants sued off, even if the gameplay is fairly different. After all there are lots of clone games floating around of just about any game.

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Obscure    175
Quote:
Original post by Talroth
Something I've wondered a few times is can someone really defend the use of 'common words/phrases'

No.... except that you can. Apple is a good example of a common word but to be a trademark it must be unique. So Apple computer's trademark is the word apple combined with the image of the apple. Without the apple image it wouldn't be a valid trademark.

Quote:
Awhile ago I saw a title "Art of War" somewhere, can someone really hold the rights to a title like that. (it being the translated title of a book, something like 1000 years old) Even if they are similar?

Yes, if it is being used as a mark for the purpose of trade (trademark) and only within the actual industry you are in. "Art of War" could be used as a trademark by the Deathbringer arms corporation but it would only be a trademark in the weapons dealing industry.

Quote:
Civilization is even a better example. It is a single word, and we are all part of a civilization, does defining it as your own game "Talroth's Civilization" make it different enough from "Sid Meier's Civiliztion" games, or will you get your pants sued off, even if the gameplay is fairly different.
Microsoft had trouble recently with the word Windows so it would probably be possible to try but would certainly be expensive as you would almost certainly end up in court.

Quote:
After all there are lots of clone games floating around of just about any game.
Clones are a copyright issue not a trademark issue.

[Edited by - Obscure on May 17, 2006 11:59:30 PM]

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