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Flash games and Trademark laws

galdongaldon Registered User regular
edited August 2012 in Singularity Engine++
So recently this thread was started over on the Mochi forums: https://www.mochimedia.com/community/forum/topic/got-a-cease-and-desist_#41

Long story short, if you don't want to read the thread, guy made a flash game 3 years ago, and is being issued a cease and desist because a game that came out one year ago uses the same name and they trademarked it (one year ago)

I am wondering what you guys think about trademark laws as they apply to the flash game 'industry' as it seems to be very poorly suited for an 'industry' where literally hundreds of new games are introduced on a daily basis. Does every game need to spend the money to protect themselves with a registered trademark? Would that cause every conceivable name to be 'used up' at such a pace that it would destroy the market?

Should big name companies be allowed to claim a flash game is competing with a AAA title as reason for their lawsuit threats? Should a major company be obligated to 'defend their trademark' against such companies for fear of losing their trademark's validity? (if you do not defend your trademark you can lose it)

And of course the big question; do you think all this legal mumbo jumbo serves only to fill the pockets of lawyers while stifling creativity? Initially I was going to post this in the game section but as this is more related to laws and discussion thereof (opinions discussion not legal advice discussion) I figured this might be the better subforum. So, yeah anyway, what are your thoughts about this sort of thing?

Go in, get the girl, kill the dragon. What's so hard about that? ... Oh, so THAT'S what a dragon looks like.

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UChq0-eLNiMaJlIjqerf0v2A? <-- Game related youtube stuff
http://galdon.newgrounds.com/games/ <-- games I've made. (spoiler warning: They might suck!)
galdon on

Posts

  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    Nah I think if you can prove you published a game two years before another guy did anything about it, the burden shifts to the other party to prove they started development before you did, otherwise their trademarks are invalidated (I think).

    At least that's how it should work...

    Wishlists! General | Gaming | Comics | Dilige, et quod vis fac
  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    I tend to skew conservative on this sort of thing. I'm a fan of intellectual property and property rights and that sort of thing. If I have an idea, I should get the benefit of being the first person to develop the idea.

    Of course a lot of this has been abused, extremely so in many cases, so it's kind of in violation of the spirit of the idea, but that just means we need to refine the laws, not go "oh well you're not entitled to your own ideas anymore"

    ...so yeah.

    Wishlists! General | Gaming | Comics | Dilige, et quod vis fac
  • NerdgasmicNerdgasmic __BANNED USERS regular
    how do we know for sure that this guy developed his game first? should anyone really take the word of a guy who develops flash games seriously

    @nealcm @faynor
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  • Raijin QuickfootRaijin Quickfoot Here You Go, AC SLATER ROD BELDINGRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH

    HEY SATAN! HERE'S MY WISHLIST! GO NUTS YOU DEVIL!

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/1JI9WWSRW1YJI
  • galdongaldon Registered User regular
    Tox wrote: »
    I tend to skew conservative on this sort of thing. I'm a fan of intellectual property and property rights and that sort of thing. If I have an idea, I should get the benefit of being the first person to develop the idea.

    Of course a lot of this has been abused, extremely so in many cases, so it's kind of in violation of the spirit of the idea, but that just means we need to refine the laws, not go "oh well you're not entitled to your own ideas anymore"

    ...so yeah.

    Yeah, I think a lot of the trademark/patent laws are unfairly balanced towards those who have money. On the one hand; you cannot get protection without a substantial sum of money for 'filing fees' and 'processing fees' yet a decent lawyer can almost circumvent those protections completely with minimal effort, leaving someone without access to an on-staff lawyer completely out of luck.

    Go in, get the girl, kill the dragon. What's so hard about that? ... Oh, so THAT'S what a dragon looks like.

    http://www.youtube.com/channel/UChq0-eLNiMaJlIjqerf0v2A? <-- Game related youtube stuff
    http://galdon.newgrounds.com/games/ <-- games I've made. (spoiler warning: They might suck!)
  • galdongaldon Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Nerdgasmic wrote: »
    how do we know for sure that this guy developed his game first? should anyone really take the word of a guy who develops flash games seriously

    He did not say what game it was specifically; but the assumption is that the game is R.I.F.T. (a flash game about a cake fetching robot), which he published according to his profile in 2009, while Trion published Rift the MMO in 2011. It is interesting because Trion was sued by Palladium books because the game shared the title and theme of their pen and paper RPG Rift.

    galdon on
    Go in, get the girl, kill the dragon. What's so hard about that? ... Oh, so THAT'S what a dragon looks like.

    http://www.youtube.com/channel/UChq0-eLNiMaJlIjqerf0v2A? <-- Game related youtube stuff
    http://galdon.newgrounds.com/games/ <-- games I've made. (spoiler warning: They might suck!)
  • FandyienFandyien But Otto, what about us? Registered User regular
    flash games are bogus

    reposig.jpg
    George Fornby Grill
  • DruhimDruhim Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2012
    OP is dumb because all this dude's received so far (from what I've seen) is a cease and desist. I could send a cease and desist letter to the local pizza place telling them to stop using their business name because I named my pet lump of moss the same name. That doesn't mean my assertion has any legal weight behind it.

    Druhim on
    belruelotterav-1.jpg
  • galdongaldon Registered User regular
    Druhim wrote: »
    OP is dumb because all this dude's received so far (from what I've seen) is a cease and desist. I could send a cease and desist letter to the local pizza place telling them to stop using their business name because I named my pet lump of moss the same name. That doesn't mean my assertion has any legal weight behind it.

    What I am saying is that it brings up a topic about trademark laws as they pertain to flash games. I'm not saying 'oh god the end of the world is here somebody got a cease and desist order nooooo!!' I've seen plenty of bogus cease and desists on youtube as well. though those tend to be a bit worse since youtube responds right away by pulling your videos until you issue a counterclaim that you do own your own videos.

    Go in, get the girl, kill the dragon. What's so hard about that? ... Oh, so THAT'S what a dragon looks like.

    http://www.youtube.com/channel/UChq0-eLNiMaJlIjqerf0v2A? <-- Game related youtube stuff
    http://galdon.newgrounds.com/games/ <-- games I've made. (spoiler warning: They might suck!)
  • George Fornby GrillGeorge Fornby Grill ...Like Clockwork Registered User regular
    I notice on Newgrounds there are a rather large number of people who flame and bash simply because they can. At first I figured that's just how things work out, but then after posting on Kongregate, I saw a much friendlier and supportive overall outlook. Kongregate has an incentive to make your material exclusive to their site as well. I wonder how many artists have been chased from here by flamers.
    The people who did probably had self esteem issues. What a troll or flamer says doesn't matter at all, what matters are those supportive comments, the ones giving suggestions, or the people who favorite artists and videos. Its easy to get upset because someone called you names or yelled something pointless and stupid at you. As long as you try, and continue to improve, the number of people who support you grows.
    So yeah, if you happen to be reading this and feel tempted to just move somewhere nicer, don't forget that in the end, the best way to get back at the trolls is to continue to create things for the people who do like your work. it might just be one or two people now, but eventually, if you keep working at it, you'll have enough support to drown out any troll who tries to bring you down.

  • galdongaldon Registered User regular
    I notice on Newgrounds there are a rather large number of people who flame and bash simply because they can. At first I figured that's just how things work out, but then after posting on Kongregate, I saw a much friendlier and supportive overall outlook. Kongregate has an incentive to make your material exclusive to their site as well. I wonder how many artists have been chased from here by flamers.
    The people who did probably had self esteem issues. What a troll or flamer says doesn't matter at all, what matters are those supportive comments, the ones giving suggestions, or the people who favorite artists and videos. Its easy to get upset because someone called you names or yelled something pointless and stupid at you. As long as you try, and continue to improve, the number of people who support you grows.
    So yeah, if you happen to be reading this and feel tempted to just move somewhere nicer, don't forget that in the end, the best way to get back at the trolls is to continue to create things for the people who do like your work. it might just be one or two people now, but eventually, if you keep working at it, you'll have enough support to drown out any troll who tries to bring you down.

    I was reading that and it sounded oddly familiar; then I remembered that was something i wrote in my journal in newgrounds a while back XD

    Go in, get the girl, kill the dragon. What's so hard about that? ... Oh, so THAT'S what a dragon looks like.

    http://www.youtube.com/channel/UChq0-eLNiMaJlIjqerf0v2A? <-- Game related youtube stuff
    http://galdon.newgrounds.com/games/ <-- games I've made. (spoiler warning: They might suck!)
  • LTMLTM Registered User regular
    galdon wrote: »
    Druhim wrote: »
    OP is dumb because all this dude's received so far (from what I've seen) is a cease and desist. I could send a cease and desist letter to the local pizza place telling them to stop using their business name because I named my pet lump of moss the same name. That doesn't mean my assertion has any legal weight behind it.

    What I am saying is that it brings up a topic about trademark laws as they pertain to flash games. I'm not saying 'oh god the end of the world is here somebody got a cease and desist order nooooo!!' I've seen plenty of bogus cease and desists on youtube as well. though those tend to be a bit worse since youtube responds right away by pulling your videos until you issue a counterclaim that you do own your own videos.

    We used to collect Cease and Desists because, living on a University network, everyone got them everyday from some party threatening to sue the Univ for infringement. They are basically BS.

    If this guy created the game 3 years ago, the company sending out the C+D has absolutely no legal leg to stand on. Counterpoint, he probably has no desire to defend his IP, or the money to do so, leaving him to just pull the game.

    Flash games aren't special under IP Law, they are usually just crap.

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