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SillyCow

Duplicate Project Name

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Hi,

We are creating an free non-commercial game which will be published on the play store.

We are in the process of choosing a name for the game.

After finding a name we like, we found out that there is a trashy "B" movie from 1980s with the same name.

 

https://play.google.com/store/movies/details/Timerider_The_Adventure_of_Lyle_Swann?id=EDFBBBFB2C2845E0MV&hl=en

 

Our name is just "time rider".

 

Oddly enough, our game is also about a time-travelling motor vehicle.

 

Are we allowed to use this name?

Can this be a problem for us later?

 

We are not looking to tradmark/copyright the name.

And there will be no money to sue...

I just don't want to get an angry letter demanding we change the name of the game after it is released...

 

 

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Can this be a problem for us later?

 

Yes, it could be.

 

 

 

We are not looking to tradmark/copyright the name.

 

 

You cannot copyright the name anyway; you trademark names. Not attempting to register the trademark may expose you to more litigation. So you might want to consider it. 

 

 

 

And there will be no money to sue...

 

You don't need to have money to get sued. Somebody may only want you to stop using the name they have trademarked themselves.

 

 

 

I just don't want to get an angry letter demanding we change the name of the game after it is released...

 

 

Unfortunately, somebody else got there first and registered that trademark. Now, fortunately, trademarks are not universal: the same mark can be used by different people/organizations in different industries. Movies and games are different, but they could both be broadly considered part of the entertainment issue, so there's not really a clear-cut answer for whether or not your name infringes on the movie's trademark. So it's very possible the holders of the trademark would balk at your use and attempt to stop you. It really depends on them.

 

You should probably consult a lawyer about your options.

Edited by Josh Petrie

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Does it matter that we want to call our game "Time Rider" while the movie is called "Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann" ?

Does the technicality that we have a space, and a shorter title make a difference?

 

I don't think it's logical for me to spend 100's of $$$ on a lawyer. This game is a hobby, with 0 expectations of making money.

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I don't think it's logical for me to spend 100's of $$$ on a lawyer. This game is a hobby, with 0 expectations of making money.

 

It doesn't have to cost "hundreds of dollars." Many lawyers will consult with you for very reasonable prices.

 

It costs you way more if you are taken to court. This is the cost of doing business. You don't have to pay it, but you take a risk in doing so. You may lose all of your hard work. Talk to a lawyer. They'll tell you what they'll charge you up front.

 

 

 

Does it matter that we want to call our game "Time Rider" while the movie is called "Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann" ?

 

Yes. The fact that it's not the exactly same title is a point in your favor; however trademark law still often comes down to "would a consumer confuse your product for their product" queries, and so similarity is still a factor.

Edited by Josh Petrie

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The fact that the items are not in the same media style helps you out the most.

Having a space actually means fairly little if you were both films, because as [b]@[member='Josh Petrie'][/b], correctly stated

trademark law still often comes down to "would a consumer confuse your product for their product" queries, and so similarity is still a factor.
 

With that said, you are making a game. If the game is not based on the movie and it is more that they have similar titles than you should be fine for a hobby project.

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Why "rider" anyway? In typical USA conversation, someone "riding" a car is merely a passenger, not an active participant - otherwise, they'd be "driving" the car.

 

Why not TimeDrive, TimeSteer, Time Tread, ChronoDrive, DriveTime, or ClockDrive, or any of a few hundred other options? Chrono Km/h?

 

I understand if you have such an awesome name that you really want to take the risk, but Time Rider sounds rather generic and lacking in creativity, as far as names go.

Time Treader,

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With that said, you are making a game. If the game is not based on the movie and it is more that they have similar titles than you should be fine for a hobby project.
 

 

Just a small nitpick:  It doesn't matter what type of project it is - commercial, hobby, etc.  The same laws apply irregardless. 

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Since the titles are not exactly the same, the medias are different and there is little chance of confusion. You SHOULD probably be good.  One thing to note is since it is from the 1980's there is a chance the trademark has expired.  A trademark must be in active commerce for it to remain valid.  (there is some small leway on that but it is usually only for a short hiatus or you are preparing to bring it to market and paid the trademark office and reserved it)  Since it is a B rate movie it may have been dropped from being sold.  Check here: http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=tess&state=4802:v4au11.1.1  

 

I think you should be fine (you should always consult a licensed lawyer if you wan to be sure.)  But becareful of copyright law.  That does not expired just because of non-use.  So if your game is too similar to the movie you might get a take down notice on that front. 

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Thanks!

Using you link this is what I get:

I assume that "dead" means that the trademark is no longer valid.

The two "live" ones are for an amusement park ride, and for a series of books.

(The dead ones include such things as jewlery!)

 

So I guess that I am pretty safe, right?

(Regardless the team has already decided to go with "time rider" unless there is any super good reason not to.)

 

 

S1:   Serial Number Reg. Number Word Mark Check Status Live/Dead 1 85559146 4318586 GOLDEN TELESCOPIC RIDERS... BEYOND THE ILLUSION OF LINEAR TIME. TSDR LIVE 2 79194627   TIME-RIDER TSDR LIVE 3 78229052   WWW.RIDERS2LOVE.COM BRINGING BIKERS TOGETHER..FOR A RIDE OR FOR A LIFETIME TSDR DEAD 4 77313156 3637362 TIME RIDER MOTORCYCLE TOURS TSDR DEAD 5 77382685   TIME RIDER TSDR DEAD 6 75452495 2256905 TIME:RIDER SINGAPORE AIRLINES CARGO UPLIFT AS BOOKED TSDR DEAD 7 75258188 2217771 TIME RIDER TSDR DEAD 8 74324325 1836078 TIME RIDERS TSDR DEAD 9 74040946 1637854 PRIME TIME FREQUENT RIDER TSDR DEAD
 

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So I guess that I am pretty safe, right?

(Regardless the team has already decided to go with "time rider" unless there is any super good reason not to.)

 

 

 

 

There is never any perfect guarantee you are safe, but as things normally go you are pretty clear.

Edited by N1njaSt0rm

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