$18.00
GeekGold Bonus for All Supporters: 131.69

7,731 Supporters

$15 min for supporter badge & GeekGold bonus
48.7% of Goal | left

Support:

Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
10 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Board Game Design » Board Game Design

Subject: Board Game Name Disputes - Should we use Trademarks? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Kieran Murphy
Ireland
Ashbourne
Co. Meath
flag msg tools
mbmb
I'm seeing lots of issues lately about names being re-used or mis-used in some form or another. 'Take down this Kickstarter, I own the rights to such and such...'

It's got me thinking... Is there a proper system to ensure your game name remains yours? Do you guys register it as a trademark? What is common practice? I'm on the verge of releasing my very first game. I've researched thoroughly so I know I'm not using a name someone else has already used... But how do I protect it from being used by others in the future?

Very interested to hear other peoples opinions...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt D
United States
Peachtree corners
Georgia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Big Man Murph wrote:
I'm seeing lots of issues lately about names being re-used or mis-used in some form or another. 'Take down this Kickstarter, I own the rights to such and such...'

It's got me thinking... Is there a proper system to ensure your game name remains yours? Do you guys register it as a trademark? What is common practice? I'm on the verge of releasing my very first game. I've researched thoroughly so I know I'm not using a name someone else has already used... But how do I protect it from being used by others in the future?

Very interested to hear other peoples opinions...


Extensive thread on this topic specific to US law: MythBusting: Game Design and Copyright, Trademarks, and Patents (US Law)

For EU or (soon to be just) UK law, you'd probably want to consult with a domestic barrister or attorney.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Wesley
Nepal
Aberdeen
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
mb
Re: Board Game Name Disputes - Should we abuse Trademarks?
whistle Make a 'sing-along' GAME and call this: "Agricolaadeetaadaa!"
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dimitri Sirenko
Canada
Vancouver
BC
flag msg tools
Big Man Murph wrote:
I'm seeing lots of issues lately about names being re-used or mis-used in some form or another. 'Take down this Kickstarter, I own the rights to such and such...'

It's got me thinking... Is there a proper system to ensure your game name remains yours? Do you guys register it as a trademark? What is common practice? I'm on the verge of releasing my very first game. I've researched thoroughly so I know I'm not using a name someone else has already used... But how do I protect it from being used by others in the future?

Very interested to hear other peoples opinions...


you can just put TM beside the name. Not that you really have to but it just reminds people it is Trademarked. You dont have to register trademark. It works just like copyright for artwork expect on titles and words. The only thing is if you're gonna put tm on your title it better be unique title unused by any other game
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Mathe
United States
Greenfield
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
http://www.Game-Universe.com
badge
http://www.MinionGames.com
mbmbmbmbmb
To trademark a name you must have, well, it in trade. In other words, you need to make the game and be selling it and then defend the name to keep the TM. Provisional trademarks allow you for maybe a year to get the product to market... but that's it.

Anyway, the answer is no. Just name it something different. Most people don't care about a name. You may, but others don't. You can also just add a tag-line to the name. Simple and free.

More info here:
http://www.jamesmathe.com/dammit-jim-im-a-publisher-not-a-la...

James
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kieran Murphy
Ireland
Ashbourne
Co. Meath
flag msg tools
mbmb
Thanks guys! All very helpful.

I'm not too concerned tbh, but it seems to be cropping up as an issue on quite a few current Kickstarter projects...

Basically get it in print and hope for the best?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Rochester
New York
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
One thing I would caution you about is not so much a legal thing as a people thing. If you use a name that has been used by something else it can mess with your marketing strategy, especially if the original name that you are reusing is a well-known one.

Some people will come to your product thinking it is something else. The smart/observant customers will realize it isn't but at the most feel frustrated or duped. Just the other day I saw a post talking about a new game with the name Agricola in the title advertising for pre-release and advertising low prices. Turns out it had nothing to do with the Agricola farming game that I was interested in so it's a good thing I researched before I went much farther. In the same situation though, the not-so-smart or not-so-observant will complain and rate it badly because it's 'not working right' or 'isn't what they ordered'. I see this ALL the time with mobile apps. Many apps with the word Pokemon were being assumed to be 'Pokemon Go' and rated badly by many because it wasn't letting them catch pokemon. shake

The point: be careful about naming something similar to something else that is popular. It may give you unwanted trouble and customer confusion.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tor Iver Wilhelmsen
Norway
Oslo
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
For instance, this year both Fog of War and The Fog of War are on the market - but totally different games.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stijn Hommes
Netherlands
Dordrecht
Zuid Holland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
There is really no excuse for using an already existing name. Everyone has the ability to search boardgamegeek.com and make sure the name they choose is unique. If they don't do that, they're not going to check whether there are any trademarks out there either...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt D
United States
Peachtree corners
Georgia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
JadedGamer wrote:
For instance, this year both Fog of War and The Fog of War are on the market - but totally different games.


Nothing is worse than math trading for BUS thinking you are getting Bus. Or getting The Fury of Dracula when you expect Fury of Dracula (second edition).

Unless you are dealing with a very specific IP, in which case they have probably already trademarked the name you are looking to use, it's always easier to find and use a more unique name. Not worth the headache, unless your intention is to trick people into buying your game.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.