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Subject: An homage to Through the Ages? rss

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Brad Metz
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Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization
Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization

Intentional? Tell me moar!
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spamman5r
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Homage, or trademark infringement?
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Bitchy Little Boy
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spamman5r wrote:
Homage, or trademark infringement?


What is the case for a trade mark infringement? The two games are obviously different, with a different theme, and the phrase does not belong to a specific series.

There are no exclusive rights on ideas and words.
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spamman5r
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gmilitaru wrote:
spamman5r wrote:
Homage, or trademark infringement?


What is the case for a trade mark infringement? The two games are obviously different, with a different theme, and the phrase does not belong to a specific series.

There are no exclusive rights on ideas and words.


Well, agree with it or not, there is a concept of an exclusive right on words in conjunction with specific products, at least in certain jurisdictions.

Wiki, for reference: "Where the respective marks or products or services are not identical, similarity will generally be assessed by reference to whether there is a likelihood of confusion that consumers will believe the products or services originated from the trademark owner."

It then goes on to define a few criteria which could constitute "confusion" from one circuit court in the United States

Strength of the mark - One of the best known board games in our hobby.

Proximity of the goods - They are the exact same type of good.

Similarity of the marks - Exact same subtitle.

Evidence of actual confusion - The fact that this thread exists.

Marketing channels used - Likely the same, but I couldn't really tell you for sure.

Type of goods and the degree of care likely to be exercised by the purchaser - Probably the best case for this game, as you stated they are different games and different themes

Defendant's intent in selecting the mark - No idea.

Likelihood of expansion of the product lines - Not sure on this test, either.


If CGE (or whoever is the current publisher of TtA in the US) really wanted to pick a fight, it would probably be one they could easily win...
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Scott Seifert
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You're certainly not the only one who was confused at first. "A story of civilization" is not exactly a common phrase especially in a board game context. I find it difficult to believe that whoever decided on the title wasn't aware of the similarity -- in fact I would be worried about the designer's credentials if they _hadn't_ heard of Through the Ages.

Then again the designers and the publisher are Polish and the "A story of Civilization" wasn't a part of the title in the Polish version of TtA. Still strange, though.
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Crazy things happen in courts all the time in all the jurisdictions. However, "Story of Civilization" is descriptive of the theme and is very close in meaning and use to the generic term "history".

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Brad Metz
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Just to be clear: the chosen title of the game strictly corresponds to what authors wanted the game to be, specifically the history of human civilization on Mars, its highlights and critical moments, "written" in the course of the game. We cannot imagine a more accurate title regarding the subject. This game is not based on the game you have mentioned, it is something quite new. Soon we are going to write more about the game and post photos of the prototype, thus hopefully satisfy your curiosity.
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Clyde W
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spamman5r wrote:
Homage, or trademark infringement?
Definitely NOT trademark infringement.
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Rob Stevenson
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golden_cow2 wrote:
You're certainly not the only one who was confused at first. "A story of civilization" is not exactly a common phrase especially in a board game context. I find it difficult to believe that whoever decided on the title wasn't aware of the similarity -- in fact I would be worried about the designer's credentials if they _hadn't_ heard of Through the Ages.


I clicked through to this from the hotness list specifically because the sub-title made me assume that this was a Through the Ages sequel or spin-off.

If passing off is not the intent of the name, it seems oddly coincidental, and needlessly close to an existing IP. Why not "A Story of Colonisation" instead?
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Greg Wilson
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Yep, I also thought it was something to do with TtA from the title.
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scott Murray
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Yup, I clicked here because of the name and potential link to TTA as well

Free advertising at its best
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Nade L
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While I don't believe this is copyright infringement, it just seems ridiculous. One of those things that will not encourage me to try this game. Not saying it might not be a great game, but the subtitle similarity feels like a hoodwink, so I'm already not that interested. Now they are fighting an uphill battle.
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Michael Anderson
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Twomorrow wrote:
While I don't believe this is copyright infringement, it just seems ridiculous. One of those things that will not encourage me to try this game. Not saying it might not be a great game, but the subtitle similarity feels like a hoodwink, so I'm already not that interested. Now they are fighting an uphill battle.


Wow. I really like the Through the Ages link. I remember a dev diary for Robinson where Vladda gave Ignacy advise on the design. While I like the title, I almost think it's a joke between the two.
 
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Brad Metz
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redimp wrote:
Just to be clear: the chosen title of the game strictly corresponds to what authors wanted the game to be, specifically the history of human civilization on Mars, its highlights and critical moments, "written" in the course of the game. We cannot imagine a more accurate title regarding the subject. This game is not based on the game you have mentioned, it is something quite new. Soon we are going to write more about the game and post photos of the prototype, thus hopefully satisfy your curiosity.


Sounds good, I'm looking forward to it!
 
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If there is an issue, it is about brand confusion, not about how accurately the words of the title describe the game. Clearly, a large part of the attention this game has received in recent days arises from the title implicitly saying, in the language of branding, that this is a Mars variant on Through the Ages approved by CGE.

The brand confusion is a problem for customers, whatever the attitude of CGE and its licensees. It could turn into a more direct problem for the publishers if CGE or significant licensees have not approved the title and decide to take action based on trademark infringement (not copyright infringement).
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mja4430 wrote:
Twomorrow wrote:
While I don't believe this is copyright infringement, it just seems ridiculous. One of those things that will not encourage me to try this game. Not saying it might not be a great game, but the subtitle similarity feels like a hoodwink, so I'm already not that interested. Now they are fighting an uphill battle.


Wow. I really like the Through the Ages link. I remember a dev diary for Robinson where Vladda gave Ignacy advise on the design. While I like the title, I almost think it's a joke between the two.


Wrong game. You're thinking of First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet
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Michael Anderson
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Stexe wrote:
mja4430 wrote:
Twomorrow wrote:
While I don't believe this is copyright infringement, it just seems ridiculous. One of those things that will not encourage me to try this game. Not saying it might not be a great game, but the subtitle similarity feels like a hoodwink, so I'm already not that interested. Now they are fighting an uphill battle.


Wow. I really like the Through the Ages link. I remember a dev diary for Robinson where Vladda gave Ignacy advise on the design. While I like the title, I almost think it's a joke between the two.


Wrong game. You're thinking of First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet

blush Oops. So I am. Too many Martian games apparently.
 
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Edwin Karat
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ConG wrote:
If there is an issue, it is about brand confusion, not about how accurately the words of the title describe the game. Clearly, a large part of the attention this game has received in recent days arises from the title implicitly saying, in the language of branding, that this is a Mars variant on Through the Ages approved by CGE.

The brand confusion is a problem for customers, whatever the attitude of CGE and its licensees. It could turn into a more direct problem for the publishers if CGE or significant licensees have not approved the title and decide to take action based on trademark infringement (not copyright infringement).


I agree that there is brand confusion, and I'm only on this forum because of that brand confusion.
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Mike Urban
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Waiting for the publisher to say, "If there's a problem, then Barsoo me!"
 
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Just wondering. How could a game about Martians be mistaken for a game about history, with lots cards of divided into several ages?

I understand it could happen for a few minutes on a website unaffiliated to either publisher or while scanning the shelves of a real or online shop, before you manage to get a look at the game proper. But after you have the box or the briefest description of the game under your eyes?
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karat wrote:
ConG wrote:
If there is an issue, it is about brand confusion, not about how accurately the words of the title describe the game. Clearly, a large part of the attention this game has received in recent days arises from the title implicitly saying, in the language of branding, that this is a Mars variant on Through the Ages approved by CGE.

The brand confusion is a problem for customers, whatever the attitude of CGE and its licensees. It could turn into a more direct problem for the publishers if CGE or significant licensees have not approved the title and decide to take action based on trademark infringement (not copyright infringement).


I agree that there is brand confusion, and I'm only on this forum because of that brand confusion.


Like many of us. I was thinking 'hmm what's Vlaada up to now'. So attempting to punk views is certainly working (but not garnering any interest here).
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karat wrote:
ConG wrote:
If there is an issue, it is about brand confusion, not about how accurately the words of the title describe the game. Clearly, a large part of the attention this game has received in recent days arises from the title implicitly saying, in the language of branding, that this is a Mars variant on Through the Ages approved by CGE.

The brand confusion is a problem for customers, whatever the attitude of CGE and its licensees. It could turn into a more direct problem for the publishers if CGE or significant licensees have not approved the title and decide to take action based on trademark infringement (not copyright infringement).


I agree that there is brand confusion, and I'm only on this forum because of that brand confusion.

Ditto.

gmilitaru wrote:
Just wondering. How could a game about Martians be mistaken for a game about history, with lots cards of divided into several ages?

Wow, seriously? You think it's that crazy for someone to think this might be a sci-fi re-theme/re-imagining of TtA?
Catan did it.
Terra Mystica is about to do it.
Mage Knight is working on it (and that's even a Vlaada!)
There are probably others out there.
Why not TtA?

Quote:
I understand it could happen for a few minutes on a website unaffiliated to either publisher or while scanning the shelves of a real or online shop, before you manage to get a look at the game proper. But after you have the box or the briefest description of the game under your eyes?

And that is the whole point. If the brand confusion is enough that you have to read the fine print on the back of the box to distinguish it, that is too much brand confusion.
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RIK FONTANA
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Damn! Now I'm going to have to re-think the title of my newest game:
FAST FOOD JUNKIE: A Story of Civilization
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Alan Bellamy
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I'm not sure how so many people can claim brand confusion and then call Through the ages: a story of civilisation TtA, surely if you were confused about the brand you would abbreviate it as aSoC and not TtA. Anyway I'm off out for a Big Mick


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