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The legality behind games that make obvious references to another

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I was playing guacamelee the other day and I noticed that they have obvious references to some metroid elements such as chozo statues and metroids themselves.  I found it a little weird since the game is for playstation and metroid is Nintendos IP, they even went as far as actually calling their chozo statues "chozo statues", so I found it hard to believe that nintendo would of actually OK-ed it which leads me to question if they even needed permission in the game?

Not only that but what would be the legality of say Saints Row 4 having in their commercial something along the lines of "If you like grand theft auto, you'll love this!!!"  or someone making a DR Mario inspired game and promoting it online using a title along the lines of "I made this 3D DR Mario inspired game"

What would be the legality behind mentioning another IP in reference to yours?

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bschmidt1962    2299

+1 of Frob!


Products can refer to other products explicitly,  for the purposes of comparison with that product.

For example, Walmart sells an antihistamine that uses the same active ingredient as the well-known brand, Claritin


On their packaging, they come right out and say

"Compare to Claritin(R) Tablets active ingredient**" 

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