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Some__Guy

Can I still get sued if I use a very generic name for my game?

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A few examples:

Rome

The Survivor

World War 2

I mean, I'm sure there is already a game for each one of those names, but I don't think they can be copyrighted, can they?

Would it be safe to use something like that?

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Nothing is ever safe.  Start reading here.

Pick a better name.  This is a creative industry, so be creative.  If the only name you can think of for a game about a survivor is "The Survivor", you aren't even trying.

Similarly for a game set in Rome if all you can think of is "Rome", for a World War 2 game all you can think of is "World War 2", then really that shows more about your level of creativity and investment in the project than anything about the legal use of names.

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9 hours ago, frob said:

Nothing is ever safe.  Start reading here.

Pick a better name.  This is a creative industry, so be creative.  If the only name you can think of for a game about a survivor is "The Survivor", you aren't even trying.

Similarly for a game set in Rome if all you can think of is "Rome", for a World War 2 game all you can think of is "World War 2", then really that shows more about your level of creativity and investment in the project than anything about the legal use of names.

Are you a troll or something?

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No, he isn't. The issue with uncreative, generic names like that, aside from any unknown trademark traps, lies in discoverability. Google for Rome and I promise you, your game won't be on the first page of results.

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14 hours ago, Some__Guy said:

A few examples:

Rome

The Survivor

World War 2

I mean, I'm sure there is already a game for each one of those names, but I don't think they can be copyrighted, can they?

Would it be safe to use something like that?

If you're considering publishing a commercial game you should spend the money and time to sit down with a lawyer to review if you'll run into any potential problems. You can conduct trademark searches as well, but there is no full proof way to prevent someone from making a claim if they "feel" you've infringed on their intellectual property in anyway. When you enter the world of business you accept these risks and possibilities. It's easy for anyone to file a claim, but proving that claim in court is another thing and being able to fund the legal costs.

I agree with the above suggestions by @frob and @JTippetts, spend the time and come up with a unique name.

Also, when you're dealing with names you're looking for Trademarks. Copyright isn't the same here... For example if I create a game called ABC Fireworks, the game content is copyrighted, but the name 'ABC Fireworks' can be trademarked under a name mark.

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2 hours ago, JTippetts said:

No, he isn't.

Just plain dumb I guess, assuming things and judging without knowing a single fact.

 

1 hour ago, Rutin said:

If you're considering publishing a commercial game you should spend the money and time to sit down with a lawyer to review if you'll run into any potential problems.

Absolutely, but it's not the case, I'm not planning to release any game, just curious how things work in this world.

 

1 hour ago, Rutin said:

Also, when you're dealing with names you're looking for Trademarks. Copyright isn't the same here... For example if I create a game called ABC Fireworks, the game content is copyrighted, but the name 'ABC Fireworks' can be trademarked under a name mark.

Ok but "ABC Fireworks" is more like an specific name, the "ABC" part makes it so, right?

Remove that and just leave "Fireworks", that would be the kind of name I was referring to.

Can you even trademark that?

I remember Blu-ray developers naming it that way because "blue" wouldn't allow them to own the name.

 

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6 minutes ago, Some__Guy said:

Remove that and just leave "Fireworks", that would be the kind of name I was referring to.

Can you even trademark that?

Yes "Fireworks" can be trademarked if it refers to a specific product in a specific domain. If you call your prune juice product Fireworks and trademark it, no other prune juice product can use that name. But other domains can trademark Fireworks, like a hair care product or sexual enhancement product. You couldn't actually trademark Fireworks for real fireworks and block the rest of the world from using that word though.

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8 minutes ago, fleabay said:

Yes "Fireworks" can be trademarked if it refers to a specific product in a specific domain. If you call your prune juice product Fireworks and trademark it, no other prune juice product can use that name. But other domains can trademark Fireworks, like a hair care product or sexual enhancement product. You couldn't actually trademark Fireworks for real fireworks and block the rest of the world from using that word though.

That makes sense.

 

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