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erpeo93

registering the game name

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Let's say I have a game that I am going to publish. His name is NewAwesomeGame007.

Let's say that I think that the game will be successful, because the game idea is original, the gameplay looks pretty well, ecc ecc.

Now, tomorrow I publish this app on google's play store and apple's app store, but I did not registered the name NewAwesomeGame007.

The following day a guy decide to create a game that is called NewAwesomeGame007 and to publish it.

 

Now, the question is: is possible that Google and Apple don't ensure that there are not two app with the same identical name (or very similar) on their store?

 

In other words, if I think that my game will have some sort of success, I MUST register the game name? or I can save those 500 dollars and put the app safely on the stores and be sure that Google and Apple "protect" my game name and ensure that there won't be any other game with the same or very similar name? 

 

I think I know the answer, (No), but I want to be sure.

 

ps: of course this process is referring just to a "first pubblication period", because my idea is to invest those dollars and register the name only after I have published it, and I have clearly seen that the game can do pretty well, but as I have understood up until now, it is very dangerous.

 

Leonardo

Edited by erpeo93

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There is no external registration like you are talking about.  The closest out there is trademark registration, but you cannot actually register the trademark until after you use it in trade. There are trademark pre-registration methods, but they are more costly than most people want to pay and don't offer much protection, the real protection doesn't kick in until you start using the name in trade.

 

 

In the case of the Apple and Google stores, after you've created your accounts you can create your game on the store sites with your name.  Creating the game account on the app store is what 'reserves' the name. They verify that there are no other games with the same name as part of the creation process.

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There is no external registration like you are talking about.  The closest out there is trademark registration, but you cannot actually register the trademark until after you use it in trade. There are trademark pre-registration methods, but they are more costly than most people want to pay and don't offer much protection, the real protection doesn't kick in until you start using the name in trade.

 

 

In the case of the Apple and Google stores, after you've created your accounts you can create your game on the store sites with your name.  Creating the game account on the app store is what 'reserves' the name. They verify that there are no other games with the same name as part of the creation process.

Oh yes, I was referring to trademark registration, but I am Italian and did not knew exactly what the name was in english.

Your question is exactly what I was looking for.

So google and apple ensure that on the store there isn't another app with your name, but of course they don't register the mark for you: if you consider that is the case, you must do it by yourself.

But let's say that after the publication of my NewGameXYZ (not a registered trademark), someone register the trademark NewGameXYZ (of course in the game field). He can then pretend that I remove the app from the stores, right?

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Getting a trademark doesn't actually ensure you the sole right to the name, unless you have a market reach to justify you owning that name. If you have a published game that predates any registered trademark you should be able to convince most courts that they can in fact not force you to change the name. Unless of course you choose a name close to an existing brand. Or Google/Apple decide that you are not important enough.

 

King.com tried and failed to trademark Saga, the Escalator company lost the rights to their brand, as it simply just became the word for moving stairs. Same thing happened to CocaCola in Denmark where they lost the monopoly on the word cola, because it just became the name of that particular kind of soft drink. Generally brands can be disputed if no one can connect it with a specific company/product. But this is a HUGE legal field spread out in several independent legal instances across the globe.

 

In short worry about getting your brand established first, unless you have an army of lawyers ready in every region of the world.

 

Also I have no education in any field close to this, I'm just saying what I've heard at various business talks :)

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Getting a trademark doesn't actually ensure you the sole right to the name, unless you have a market reach to justify you owning that name. If you have a published game that predates any registered trademark you should be able to convince most courts that they can in fact not force you to change the name. Unless of course you choose a name close to an existing brand. Or Google/Apple decide that you are not important enough.

 

King.com tried and failed to trademark Saga, the Escalator company lost the rights to their brand, as it simply just became the word for moving stairs. Same thing happened to CocaCola in Denmark where they lost the monopoly on the word cola, because it just became the name of that particular kind of soft drink. Generally brands can be disputed if no one can connect it with a specific company/product. But this is a HUGE legal field spread out in several independent legal instances across the globe.

 

In short worry about getting your brand established first, unless you have an army of lawyers ready in every region of the world.

 

Also I have no education in any field close to this, I'm just saying what I've heard at various business talks :)

 

So you're saying that it's a waste of money to register the name of the game before I even know if the game will have success...

In the case it has, THEN I must start thinking about registering the mark NewGameXYZ.

And in the case there are conflicts, or in the case someone publish a game which steals visibility from mine, Google and Apple will "protect" me because my game has been published before and because my game is more successful than the other...

 

Is that right?

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online stores avoiding name collisions and confusion in products - and copyright protection in international courts of law - are two very different things. each store and jurisdiction will play by their own particular set of rules. standard business practice for any real company in the US is to register all trademarks in a timely manner - just in case something happens in the future. trademark registration is a way to backup a claim of prior use - which is the criteria used to decide such cases in the US. of course they also apply a number of other standard business practices in relation to this as well, such as....

 

* pre-development market research to help ensure the product will do well. reduces the guesswork in "how well will it sell"?  so there's no question as to "if it will sell" or "if is worth registering the trademark". they never would have even built it if it wasn't.

 

* trademark searches conducted by patent attorneys to determine the name can be used in the first place.

 

* name analysis by marketing firms to help guarantee the name is both good and not likely to be appropriated or have infringement / confusion issues.

 

* retention of a good patent law office to enforce trademarks if /when someone infringes

 

* actually betting a good sized chunk of the farm on the product - they actually have something significant to lose (company market value), so they try to eliminate uncertainty. so they wouldn't build something unless they knew it was going to sell, and thus would need trademark protection.

 

one neat trick is to include the company name in the title of the product such as MS office, MS fight simulator, MS windows. or MS money.  its unique, it reinforces the company name in the consumer's mind, and its unlikely to be infringed upon as the company name is part of it.

Edited by Norman Barrows

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So you're saying that it's a waste of money to register the name of the game before I even know if the game will have success...

 

In the case it has, THEN I must start thinking about registering the mark NewGameXYZ.

And in the case there are conflicts, or in the case someone publish a game which steals visibility from mine, Google and Apple will "protect" me because my game has been published before and because my game is more successful than the other...

 

Is that right?

 

 

It goes beyond that. Actually registering ANYTHING no matter how successfully traded only makes sense once the entity seeking protection has the financial means to defend whatever they want protected.

 

In your case, if you release your game, and you achieve considerable Indie fame (and maybe make some money in the process) doesn't help you at all, no matter what trademarks you have, if BigFatGreedyStudioX decides tomorrow to call their newest game the same.

You might be legally entitled to sue them, but unless your warchest is actually quite big (and you are ready to loose that money), sueing them might not be a wise idea. Even if you are in the end winning the legal battle (which is far from a sure victory), you will have a long and expensive process before you. If said BigFatGreedyStudioX company has enough in its coffers, and is hellbent on getting the name, best you can hope for is that they make you an offer to buy the name from you (and that is ONLY if said company doesn't want to just trample you in the dust).

 

 

Care about creating your game and being successfull. Try to not step on anyone elses IP yourself. Be prepared that someone else might do it though, and that there most probably is little you can do about it as long as you have not filled your coffers yet with tons of cash (if somebody does, you need to make sure he cannot sue YOU for something THEY did wrong... yeah, legal system is pretty f*cked up worldwide).

Edited by Gian-Reto

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