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BogdanOlteanu

real names

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Hello, i have a simple question almost stupid but i still need an opinion. Are we alloed to use public names inside a game even if the story line is fiction ex: Ace Hardware[font=sans-serif][size=2], Activision Blizzard, Advance auto parts etc [/size][/font]?
And what about computer parts same question real names specs everything. thank you for your time and patience

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[quote name='bogdaniel' timestamp='1313848350' post='4851591']
Hello, i have a simple question almost stupid but i still need an opinion. Are we alloed to use public names inside a game even if the story line is fiction ex: Ace Hardware[font="sans-serif"][size="2"], Activision Blizzard, Advance auto parts etc [/size][/font]?
And what about computer parts same question real names specs everything. thank you for your time and patience
[/quote]

You need permission to use other companies trademarks. (This may or may not cost money depending on the company, you might even get payed to include some products in your game if you play your cards right)

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[quote name='SimonForsman' timestamp='1313848978' post='4851594']
[quote name='bogdaniel' timestamp='1313848350' post='4851591']
Hello, i have a simple question almost stupid but i still need an opinion. Are we alloed to use public names inside a game even if the story line is fiction ex: Ace Hardware[font="sans-serif"][size="2"], Activision Blizzard, Advance auto parts etc [/size][/font]?
And what about computer parts same question real names specs everything. thank you for your time and patience
[/quote]

You need permission to use other companies trademarks. (This may or may not cost money depending on the company, you might even get payed to include some products in your game if you play your cards right)
[/quote]

so for everything real / belongs to someone i have to send them an e-mail and beg for their approvement :))

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[quote name='bogdaniel' timestamp='1313849541' post='4851597']
So for everything real / belongs to someone i have to send them an e-mail and beg for their approvement
[/quote]


Yes, they belong to someone.

No, writing an e-mail and begging would not be appropriate. That's not how business operates.


Companies spend fortunes building the brand names. For most big companies the brand name accounts for a large portion of their corporate worth.

Just to give you an idea, the current top brand names globally are:

Google is the current winner, the name is worth roughly $100 billion dollars. (63% of the 158B company value)
Microsoft as a brand is worth $76 billion (37% of the $201B company value)
Coca-Cola's brand is worth $67 billion (43% of the $154B company value)
IBM's brand is $66 billion (35% of $188B)
McDonald's is $66 billion (73% of $90B)
Apple is $63 billion (19% of $330B)


You ask about using the Ace Hardware brand. That is likely worth several hundred million dollars.
You asked about the Activision/Blizzard brand. It is likely over the billion dollar mark.


Do you really think those companies are going to willingly let you use their brand names to push your product without their permission? What if it harms their name? What if it dilutes the value of their name? Even a tiny effect on the name can cost a company millions of dollars in corporate value.

No, you really need to get proper written permission. Generally that comes in the form of a contractual license to use their name in exchange for compensation. The contract will require working with their brand teams to ensure that any use qualifies as on-brand and postiive, and they will forbid anything that they consider off-brand or potentially harmful. The compensation is usually just money, but for large corporations working together it can also include cross-branding agreements and other mutual compensations.

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[quote name='bogdaniel' timestamp='1313849541' post='4851597']
so for everything real / belongs to someone i have to send them an e-mail and beg for their approvement :))
[/quote]
Not necessarily. If you use a brand name in an innocuous manner, the brand owner might not care. If you have a brand name being used in crimes, then the brand owner wouldn't like that. You should ask your lawyer before doing something like that. As was said in another thread here yesterday, a little lawyer expense now can save you a lot of lawyer expense later.

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[quote name='Tom Sloper' timestamp='1313858379' post='4851642']
[quote name='bogdaniel' timestamp='1313849541' post='4851597']
so for everything real / belongs to someone i have to send them an e-mail and beg for their approvement :))
[/quote]
Not necessarily. If you use a brand name in an innocuous manner, the brand owner might not care. If you have a brand name being used in crimes, then the brand owner wouldn't like that. You should ask your lawyer before doing something like that. As was said in another thread here yesterday, a little lawyer expense now can save you a lot of lawyer expense later.
[/quote]

uhm based on the game story from the perspective of people it might be considered a crime :D the entire game could be banned because it's an instigation to computer crimes.

thank you everyone for your reply to this post.

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I'm imagining that you just have stuff lying around in your game with brand names that you want to portray in a post-modernist way.

A trademark is just an assurance of quality so that people know they're buying from. Unless you're claiming your product comes from them that shouldn't be illegal.

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[quote name='polyfrag' timestamp='1313898172' post='4851795']
A trademark is just an assurance of quality so that people know they're buying from. Unless you're claiming your product comes from them that shouldn't be illegal.
[/quote]

Should or shouldn't is irrelevant in this case.

Courts have repeadly found that inclusion of marks inside movies and other media can pass the requirements for trademark infringement.

Regardless of what you personally think should or should not be the interpretation of law, the decision is entirely up to a judge.

Since the precidence is that unauthorized inclusion is infringement, that should be a warning sign unless your lawyer says your usage is proper.

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