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Author Topic: When will the trademark madness cease  (Read 1942 times)

wraith808

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When will the trademark madness cease
« on: October 02, 2013, 08:08:19 AM »
A game called TERRIBLE THINGS was issued a C&D by a company with a name of ... The Game of THINGS.  Umm... really?

http://www.kickstart...ne-lose/posts/615622

From the post:
Quote
Trick question! It's bad news. Last week, just prior to the close of our Kickstarter campaign, we received a cease and desist letter from Perkins Coie, a big fancy law firm employed by Quinn & Sherry, the publishers of "The Game of THINGS…" They claim that "TERRIBLE THINGS: The Party Game Where Everyone Loses" infringes on their trademark.

We could spend a lot of time picking apart the absurdities in their argument, but in the interest of efficiency, we thought we'd just re-post their letter here. We think the insanity speaks for itself:

things1.jpgWhen will the trademark madness cease

things2.jpgWhen will the trademark madness cease

Just to make sure we weren't making a mountain out of a molehill, we asked them to clarify their position:


"Jack and I are confused about what the actual infringement consists of, and would greatly appreciate some clarification so that we can best remedy the situation. Is your position that any board game published with "Things" in the title infringes on Quinn & Sherry's trademark?"

Their answer was a simple "Yes.":


"A game with the word THINGS in the title may appear to consumers to be a variation or themed version of the THINGS... game. Thus, a name with THINGS in it is likely to be too close to the THINGS… trademark. Quinn & Sherry has invested significantly in building brand recognition for the THINGS… trademark over the past ten years. We hope we can reach an agreed resolution and avoid formal proceedings. Litigation is costly and time consuming for everyone. However, my client will defend its rights. Having not yet started manufacturing, changing the name of your game at this stage would be the most cost effective. Accordingly, we look forward to your confirmation that you will select a different mark for your game – one that does not include the term THINGS."

And there you have it. Quinn & Sherry is willing to take us to court for DARING to publish a game with the word "things" in the title, because they believe they own that word. The word "things." Seriously.

really.jpg

So here's where we are: this has already pushed back our publishing date, and we don't want a ridiculous legal battle to delay the game any further. So we're changing the name. Starting over is a time and money suck, but this is simply the least bad option available to us. Here was our response:


"In the interest of preventing further delay or cost in publishing our game, we have decided to change the name to a mark that does not include the word "Things." Not because you're right, but because we simply don't have the resources to defend ourselves.

You should be ashamed of yourselves."

We want to be very clear: we think this whole thing is BULLSHIT. We just simply can't afford to deal with it right now. They could bring us to court, try to enjoin Amazon from releasing the campaign funds, or do a million other things that we seriously don't have the time or the money to fight against, and our primary goal is to get this game out there, whatever its name.

Stay classy, everyone.

-Terrible People
« Last Edit: October 02, 2013, 12:17:56 PM by wraith808, Reason: I\'m OCD and misspelled cease. »

wraith808

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Re: When will the trademark madness ceace
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2013, 08:10:13 AM »
Interesting response in the comments:
Quote
I think this may just be worthy of a crowd-sourced attempt to invalidate that Trademark with the USPTO. Are there any goodwill lawyers among us who'd be willing to organize the charge?
It's an insanely broad trademark that apparently covers "parlor games and card games" (the "board games" target was deleted), so it shouldn't be too difficult to find prior art. I'd think it could be argued that any game which uses cards as one of the primary methods of gameplay is a card game.
A quick search of BoardGameGeek provides a multitude of games with "Things" in the title which came before that 2002 filing with the USPTO, could be somewhere to start.
>Funny Things Happen (1930)
>http://boardgamegeek.../funny-things-happen
>Dinosaurs and Things (1986)
>http://boardgamegeek...dinosaurs-and-things
>Kings & Things (1986)
>http://boardgamegeek...game/58/kings-things
>Shape Of Things (1989)
>http://boardgamegeek...5867/shape-of-things
>Hordes Of The Things (1991)
>http://boardgamegeek...hordes-of-the-things
>Things In My House (1993)
>http://boardgamegeek...9/things-in-my-house
USPTO Record: http://tsdr.uspto.go...rchType=statusSearch

40hz

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Re: When will the trademark madness ceace
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2013, 08:51:46 AM »
If they're smart, they'll let Techdirt know about this nonsense.

Renegade

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Re: When will the trademark madness ceace
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2013, 09:28:36 AM »
Huh? What happened to my post?

Maybe it was that mouser! Tricking me into opening a bottle and I forgot to click "Post". Could've sworn I'd clicked it though...

Anyways...

The trademark/patent/copyright/IP nonsense will never stop. I'll skip the reasons as they should be obvious.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Vurbal

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Re: When will the trademark madness ceace
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2013, 10:09:46 AM »
If they're smart, they'll let Techdirt know about this nonsense.

And/or Popehat.
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I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.

TaoPhoenix

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Re: When will the trademark madness ceace
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2013, 10:12:02 AM »
The trademark/patent/copyright/IP nonsense will never stop. I'll skip the reasons as they should be obvious.

The preceding comment consists of a copyrighted work by Renegade. All inquiries must be made to Renegade, preferably including a non-anthrax-contaminated bottle of a fermented liquid with at least a double digit % content. Proof is a measure double that of % content therefore it is not recommended as a measure, such as a heavy beer. This work is being only referenced in part because quoting the whole work is not yet clear that it falls under Fair Use guidelines. However, all text boards facilitate the infringement of short textual copyrighted works with a button that says "Quote"! Not valid in Wyoming or the corner of Main Street and Maple Avenue in Perth. The King of Luxembourg approves of this message.



Renegade

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Re: When will the trademark madness ceace
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2013, 10:21:38 AM »
The trademark/patent/copyright/IP nonsense will never stop. I'll skip the reasons as they should be obvious.

The preceding comment consists of a copyrighted work by Renegade. All inquiries must be made to Renegade, preferably including a non-anthrax-contaminated bottle of a fermented liquid with at least a double digit % content. Proof is a measure double that of % content therefore it is not recommended as a measure, such as a heavy beer. This work is being only referenced in part because quoting the whole work is not yet clear that it falls under Fair Use guidelines. However, all text boards facilitate the infringement of short textual copyrighted works with a button that says "Quote"! Not valid in Wyoming or the corner of Main Street and Maple Avenue in Perth. The King of Luxembourg approves of this message.

Thank you. I needed an excuse to open another bottle. :P
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Stoic Joker

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Re: When will the trademark madness ceace
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2013, 11:52:35 AM »
Now for a bit of fun...

Checkout the comment section explosion at www.thingsthegame.com. The people appear to be speaking loudly and clearly.

+1 for the internet!

Terrible Things looks like it would be a blast. I'd just love to see how far off the rails the Banned Deck's content goes!

Renegade

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Re: When will the trademark madness ceace
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2013, 12:01:12 PM »
Now for a bit of fun...

Checkout the comment section explosion at www.thingsthegame.com. The people appear to be speaking loudly and clearly.

+1 for the internet!

Terrible Things looks like it would be a blast. I'd just love to see how far off the rails the Banned Deck's content goes!

HA! Amen brother! ;D

+1

Screenshot - 10_3_2013 , 2_58_40 AM.png

Nicely done! 8)

Would you like an order of CROW with that? :P
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

wraith808

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Re: When will the trademark madness cease
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2013, 12:22:59 PM »
That's hilarious!  And there are new questions and answers every time you click the arrow...

suicidebyinternet.png