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Subject: How did this game manage to be called Shogun? rss

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Graham Smallwood
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I thought Samurai Swords was originally titled Shogun, and it got sued by the publisher of the book Shogun.
 
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Luke Morris
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I have the original "Shogun" before it became Samurai Swords.
I would guess that as "Shogun" is a historical term then a game is allowed to be given that name in present day.
Perhaps I'm wrong though as I'm just assuming, and we all know what assuming does...
 
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Anthony Simons
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Sued? Really?

I don't know about that, but they certainly changed the name. A few publishers have used Shogun as a game title (AH, Ravensburger and MB off the top of my head) so it is hardly a title anybody owns the rights to - so why they changed it escapes me; perhaps you're right.

As this is a German game it is highly unlikely the Clavell estate or the publishing house responsible for his work will be taking action; the laws are probably a little different (as evidenced in the use of old movies' and movie stars' names in Traumfabrik).
 
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J Mathews
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As I understand it, the publisher of the book thought that the families and situation depicted in the game was too close to what was in the book so they threatened to sue and so MB backed off the title. I don't understand how they could have won though becuase both the game and the book are base do the same historical time period so that the family names are going to be the same, that's what they were.

The work 'shogun' is a legitimate and historical Japanese word. I find it difficult to believe that it can be trademarked well enough that it can't be used. It would be like trademarking the word 'president' (I know they don't mean the same thing). Doesn't make sense.
 
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Henry Rodriguez
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This question relates to trademark law, my legal specialty. Using the term Shogun as a trademark (e.g. title of a product such as a boardgame) can be legitimately used to prevent others from using that term (or a similar term) for the same or similar product.

Thus it could be possible for the producers of this Shogun to prevent subsequent game publishers from using the term. However, had MB still been producing its boardgame under the title of Shogun, then they would not likely have permitted this new game from being marketed.

Now, I do not know the facts underlying MB's decision to change the name of its boardgame. But it is unlikely it was due to another company's use of the term as a title of a book. Titles of individual books cannot be trademarked (e.g. Monster Manual can because it has been used as a title for a series of books).

Lastly, though trademark laws are completely territorial (differ from country to country), a German company marketing a product in the U.S. would still be subject to US trademark law and US companies with superior rights in a trademark.

Feel free to present other questions.

Good night and good luck,

Henry Rodriguez, Esq.
 
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Paul - the
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I think there was a game called "James Clavell's Shogun" based on the book which is why the Shogun game had to change name to Samurai Swords.
 
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Sifu
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I think it's a tribute to the Shogun of Harlem.

Sho'nuff!!!!
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