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  • Sony America trademarks 'Greatness Awaits,' points to PS4 slogan

    by 
    Sinan Kubba
    Sinan Kubba
    05.15.2013

    Sony's slogan for the PS4 may be "Greatness Awaits," based on a recent trademark and a purported ad leak. It's emerged Sony Computer Entertainment America trademarked the term last week, just ahead of next month's E3 conference. That on its own doesn't mean much, but it backs up Siliconera's prior report of a leaked script for a PS4 ad, with the term used as a slogan for the upcoming console. The script, which Siliconera has in full, certainly resembles PlayStation's unique brand of surreal, high-octane advertising. It features a man walking down a road, talking at the camera and demanding the viewer not to be ordinary, afraid, or a slave to the past. Around him buildings appear "increasingly damaged," and the scene grows more chaotic as windows break apart, two people covered in yellow paint sprint past him, and eventually a crowd of followers fall in line behind him. It even features a "homemade flag [sic] painted with the icon from Destiny" being unfurled out of a window, and a "giant spacecraft from Killzone" flying overhead. The ad closes with the man saying, "Who are you to deny greatness? If you would deny it to yourself, you deny it to the entire world... And we will not be denied." Then the words 'Greatness Awaits' appear on screen, followed or joined by 'PlayStation.' We've reached out to Sony for comment.

  • Shaq's licensing company trademarks 'Shaqfighter'

    by 
    Jordan Mallory
    Jordan Mallory
    05.15.2013

    Mine O' Mine, the licensing company responsible for all things bearing the resemblance of the legendarily mononymous Shaq, has registered a trademark for "Shaqfighter." The trademark's Goods and Services qualifications cover the term for "providing online games" and "computer and video game characters," among many other purposes along that line, which leads us to believe that this is probably a video game thing. Of course, when the words "Shaq" and "fighter" are thrown together in such close proximity, 1994's Shaq-fu immediately springs to mind for any of us old enough to remember it in all of its confusing, supernatural glory. Well, "glory." Here's hoping this new jam ends up being more than an Infinity Blade clone starring an endless bloodline of medieval Shaqs. Actually ...

  • Level-5 registers three new, mysterious trademarks

    by 
    Jordan Mallory
    Jordan Mallory
    05.04.2013

    Level 5 has registered trademarks for three heretofore unannounced projects, Siliconera reports. Rare Drop Adventurer Note, Earth Devastating B-rank Girlfriend and Wonderflick were all trademarked by the developer around the same time, which may indicate that these titles collectively represent a third entry in Level 5's Guild series. Beyond the fact that these trademarks were filed, however, nothing else is known about what these games might be, if they end up being games at all. Who knows, maybe Earth Devastating B-rank Girlfriend is a new magical girl anime from Level 5 and Studio Ghibli? Well, okay, probably not, but one can dream.

  • Rumor: Japanese trademark suggests Dragon Quest Monsters 2 remake

    by 
    Danny Cowan
    Danny Cowan
    04.26.2013

    A recently registered trademark in Japan hints that Square Enix may be planning to remake its 2001 creature-battling RPG Dragon Quest Monsters 2.The trademark for "Iru to Ruka no Fushigi na Fushigi na Kagi" – yes, that's two fushigis – translates to "Iru and Luca's Wonderful Mysterious Keys." Iru and Luka were the stars in the Game Boy Color's Dragon Quest Monsters 2.Dragon Quest Monsters 2 was originally released as a set of two cartridges, as was the popular thing to do back when the Pokemon craze was at its peak. Each cart featured a different playable protagonist and its own unique set of collectible monsters, which players could trade with others via the Game Boy's link cable. Both versions were later released in North America as Dragon Warrior Monsters 2: Tara's Adventure and Cobi's Journey.A remake of 1998's Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry's Wonderland launched for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan last year and met with stellar sales. The remade sequel will likely join its predecessor on the Nintendo 3DS, and the trademarked subtitle indicates that it will consolidate content from the two Game Boy Color releases.A U.S. release for Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry's Wonderland 3D has not been announced.

  • Langdell's 'Edge' trademark canceled by court order

    by 
    JC Fletcher
    JC Fletcher
    04.19.2013

    The "Edge" trademark belonging to Edge Games founder Tim Langdell has been canceled by a court order, stripping Langdell of the ability to file suit against every other game developer and publisher who used the word "Edge" in any context.Following a petition by DICE and EA (Mirror's Edge), the US Patent and Trademark Office officially issued notice of the cancelled registration on April 17, a process that has been ongoing since 2010. Two Tribes, publisher of Mobigame's Edge (pictured), celebrated by discounting all versions of the puzzle game 50%. Edge was taken down from the App Store repeatedly due to issues with the "Edge" trademark.

  • Kadokawa trademarks 'Demon Gaze' in US

    by 
    JC Fletcher
    JC Fletcher
    04.08.2013

    Demon Gaze is a Vita dungeon crawler developed by Experience Inc. and published this year in Japan by Kadokawa Games. It would appear Kadokawa has an interest in bringing it stateside, as the publisher has filed a trademark for "Demongaze" in the United States. Demon Gaze sounds, well, kind of insane. Protagonist Oz can use his eye to capture demons, many of which are also robots who can transform. Oz can use money earned in the dungeon to rent more rooms from an innkeeper, in order to invite more NPCs into the inn to help him.Kadokawa's last two games to be localized, Lollipop Chainsaw and the upcoming Killer is Dead, were published stateside by Warner Bros. and XSEED, respectively. The latter seems more likely to pick up a Vita dungeon RPG.

  • Microsoft files 'Glacier Blast' trademark

    by 
    Mike Suszek
    Mike Suszek
    04.06.2013

    A trademark for "Glacier Blast" was recently filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office by Microsoft. While no other information about it exists, the trademark was filed as game software. Microsoft also registered the domain glacierblastgame.com in late March, according to WhoIs records. The URL currently points to a Bing search.Using our refined detective skills, we think it's possible that this piece of "game software" is a video game currently in development by Microsoft. With a name like "Glacier Blast," we'll be disappointed if the final product isn't an arctic naval combat game in which large icy masses shoot lasers at an enemy called "Global Warming."

  • Hearing aid maker sues Apple over EarPods, alleges trademark infringement

    by 
    Yoni Heisler
    Yoni Heisler
    04.03.2013

    Late last week, Apple was hit with a trademark infringement lawsuit courtesy of Randolph Divisions, a company that manufactures digital hearing aids. The Next Web reports that the suit, which was filed in Hawaii, alleges that Apple's EarPods headphones infringe upon their own "HearPod" trademark and product. Apple's EarPods were originally released alongside the iPhone 5 this past September. They were touted as offering better sound quality and more comfort than previous Apple headphones which, while iconic, weren't exactly best in class audio-wise. It's worth noting that Randolph Divisions has owned the "HearPod" trademark since 2007, though Apple itself does hold US trademarks for both "EarPods" and "Apple EarPods." So does Randolph Divisions have a case here? It sure doesn't seem like it. Under trademark law, the standard for infringement is whether or not two products are so similar as to cause a "likelihood of confusion" amongst consumers. In deciding whether two products with similar marks might result in customer confusion, a court may look at a number of factors, including how well-known a particular trademark is, how similar the two marks in question are (do they look similar, do they sound similar), the intent of the defendant and any evidence of actual customer confusion in the marketplace. In this particular case, it's a struggle to find an inkling of how customer confusion could exist. Randolph Divisions' HearPod hearing aids are in a completely different product category than Apple's EarPods. Furthermore, it seems hard, if not impossible, to imagine any consumer looking for hearing aids and mistakenly picking up a pair of Apple's white EarPods instead. It's also worth noting that the courts will sometimes look at how expensive or unique a product is when making a determination regarding the likelihood of customer confusion. For instance, when a product is particularly expensive or unique, customers are likely to be more informed of their purchase decisions and consequently less prone to confusion. To that end, hearing aids are as unique a product as any and it stands to reason that someone in the market for hearing aids certainly knows the difference between that and headphones. Nonetheless, the complaint attempts to paint both products as being similar in nature. It reads in part: Both Plaintiffs' Goods and Defendant's Goods are similar in nature in that, among other things, they are inserted into the ears of their users and are used to facilitate and enhance the transmission of sounds to the users. That's a stretch, to say the least. Randolph Divisions is also alleging infringement via trademark dilution. Here, again, the company runs into trouble as dilution is typically found when a company's trademark is either associated with an unseemly product (i.e. cigarettes) or is used on a product which blurs the distinctiveness of the original trademark. I would surmise that Randolph Divisons' only leg to stand on is the fact that the earpod.com domain name redirects to myhearpod.com, a domain owned and operated by Randolph Divisions. That, however, suggests that folks looking for the Apple headphones are more likely to be affected by product confusion than those looking for hearing aids. Randolph Divisions is asking for damages along with an order preventing Apple from selling its EarPods. Based on the above, I doubt this case will go anywhere, but it's certainly interesting to see Apple on the opposite side of a pod-centric legal dispute. Apple has historically been rather aggressive in protecting its Pod trademark. For instance, Apple opposed Sector Labs' plan to introduce a video projector called "Video Pod." The case ultimately went to trial with the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ruling that Apple's 'Pod' trademark was famous and therefore warranted broad protection under the law.

  • USPTO asks Apple to amend its application to trademark 'iPad mini'

    by 
    Kelly Hodgkins
    Kelly Hodgkins
    04.01.2013

    Earlier this year, Apple received a non-final Office action letter from the USPTO regarding its trademark application for the iPad mini mark. A non-final Office action is the first notice sent to an applicant about a problem with its trademark application. Following the notice, the applicant has six months to amend its application to meet the USPTO's requirements. In the case with the iPad mini, Apple's application was cited because the iPad mini name was merely descriptive and not a unique, non-descriptive term for the product. The USPTO's examining attorney Lee-Anne Berns writes in a letter to Apple that "the mark is merely descriptive of a feature or characteristic of the goods and registration is refused under Section 2(e)(1) of the Trademark Act." Apple can amend its application "to add a claim of acquired distinctiveness" and try again to trademark the iPad mini name. [Via CNET]

  • Kaiju Combat Kickstarter on hold over Wizards of the Coast trademark dispute

    by 
    Mike Schramm
    Mike Schramm
    03.22.2013

    A Kickstarter project for an indie game called Kaiju Combat: Giant Monsters has been put on hold, due to a trademark disagreement with game publisher Wizards of the Coast. Soon after raising $112,513 for its $100k goal, developer Sunstone Games received an infringement notice from Wizards of the Coast. The notice claimed the name of Sunstone's game violated Wizard's "Kaijudo" trademark, which refers to a collectible card game based on a Hasbro TV show.Sunstone says its lawyer contacted Wizards last December to argue that "Kaiju" (a Japanese word that means "monster") had nothing at all to do with "Kaijudo," and they believed the matter had been settled. But this past week Wizards took the matter to Kickstarter directly, which took the project offline, claiming it was "the subject of an intellectual property dispute."Sunstone's owner Simon Strange says he's working as quickly as possible to get the project reinstated. Going through court costs, he says, would be prohibitive on the company's "limited development budget." Strange adds he's "hopeful" that Sunstone won't have to change the game's name.

  • Bungie files trademark apps for Glimmer, Fallen, Hive, Cabal, Vex

    by 
    Jessica Conditt
    Jessica Conditt
    03.17.2013

    Bungie is on the hunt for intellectual property, filing trademark applications for five ideas: Glimmer, Fallen, Hive, Cabal and Vex. Filed on March 11 and spotted by Gamespot, each word seeks protection for a range of products, including video games, novels (graphic and classic), Halloween costumes, clothing, action figures, television and movies.Bungie, of course, is working on Destiny, a persistent-world console shooter with RPG elements. Destiny will come to the PlayStation 4 alongside the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions, sometime not in 2013.

  • Apple's claim to iPhone trademark in Mexico gets a nail in the appeals coffin

    by 
    Alexis Santos
    Alexis Santos
    03.15.2013

    Apple's already lost hope for exclusive rights to the name "iPhone" in Brazil, and now it's been defeated in another battle south of the border. Cupertino and Mexican company iFone S.A. have a long history, stretching back to 2009 when Apple tried to have the firm's "iFone" trademark revoked. The electronics giant claimed that the mark had expired since it was registered in 2003. However, the Wall Street Journal reports that a Mexican federal court ruled last year that the small company's claim to the name was valid, and that Cook and Co. can't make it their own. Now, Mexico's Supreme Court has put another nail in the coffin, upholding the previous decision. iFone intends to seek some coin in the form of damages, but all is not lost for Apple: it still has two trademarks to the iPhone moniker in the country and can keep selling its hardware.

  • Daily Update for March 11, 2013

    by 
    Megan Lavey-Heaton
    Megan Lavey-Heaton
    03.11.2013

    It's the TUAW Daily Update, your source for Apple news in a convenient audio format. You'll get all the top Apple stories of the day in three to five minutes for a quick review of what's happening in the Apple world. You can listen to today's Apple stories by clicking the inline player (requires Flash) or the non-Flash link below. To subscribe to the podcast for daily listening through iTunes, click here. No Flash? Click here to listen. Subscribe via RSS

  • Mutant Mudds dev Renegade Kid preparing 'Treasurenauts'

    by 
    David Hinkle
    David Hinkle
    02.28.2013

    Stalwart DS/3DS development studio Renegade Kid is preparing to announce its next game: Treasurenauts. Renegade Kid confirmed an impending announcement after a trademark for the name surfaced at Siliconera.Renegade Kid's last effort was Mutant Mudds, a platformer that started out on the 3DS and eventually made its way over to Windows and iOS. A Wii U port is in the oven and the developer has said a sequel is also in progress.

  • DirecTV scores a batch of 4K TV trademarks, content remains a pie in the sky

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    02.27.2013

    Despite the flood of 4K TVs that are emerging this year, there won't be a lot of content to play on them in the near future short of space galleries and the World Cup. The team at DirecTV can't provide an immediate solution, but it's at least getting ahead of the curve with a spate of new trademarks. The satellite giant now owns trademarks for the terms 4K, 4KN, 4KNET, 4K Network and 4KNetwork, the lot of which would cover broadcasts, streaming and VOD -- all hinting that the company is at least toying with the prospect of a 4K-only channel or service. Don't get your hopes up, however. DirecTV has declined comment, and there's a big difference between securing a trademark and having the resources to do something with it. We'll have to wait for sufficient capacity on TV networks -- and in our wallets -- before 4K TV channels exist as more than names. [Image credit: Brian Cantoni, Flickr]

  • Livescribe renames Sky smartpen after losing trademark dispute with BSkyB

    by 
    Sharif Sakr
    Sharif Sakr
    02.15.2013

    Livescribe v BSkyB was one of the stranger trademark battles we've seen recently, because the two companies operate in such different spheres -- one makes smartpens, the other runs TV and internet services. Nevertheless, the English High Court has now ruled in favor of BSkyB, forcing Livescribe to recall all stock bearing the offending three-letter word and to re-baptize its "Sky wifi smartpen" simply as the "wifi smartpen". Suddenly, the packaging left over from our review of the device just feels so naughty.

  • Apple loses iPhone trademark in Brazil

    by 
    Mike Schramm
    Mike Schramm
    02.13.2013

    The BBC is saying that Apple has lost the trademark for "iPhone" in Brazil, to a company that makes an Android-powered phone, of all things. Gradiente Eletronica registered the name "iPhone" in that country back in 2000, years before Apple tried to do the same thing, and so the ruling Institute of Industrial Property there has decided that Gradiente Eletronica owns the trademark, not Apple. However, things aren't as plain and simple as that. Gradiente Eletronica hadn't released a product using the iPhone name until December of 2012. And Apple still has the rights to use the name iPhone on anything outside of the smartphone realm, including on clothing, in software and almost anywhere else. Apple is reportedly appealing the decision, so we should hear more about this one in the future. What usually happens in this case is that the company from Cupertino ends up paying for the name in a settlement, and indeed, the chairman of Gradiente Eletronica has said that the company is "open to a dialogue for anything, anytime." But Apple likely wants to get out of this without paying up, especially if it has a legitimate right to the name itself. [via Engadget]

  • Apple loses iPhone trademark in Brazil, to a company that makes Android phones

    by 
    Sharif Sakr
    Sharif Sakr
    02.13.2013

    Ouch. We had an inkling this might happen, but now it's official: the Brazilian authorities have just ruled in favor of a small handset manufacturer called Gradiente Eletronica in its trademark tussle with Apple. Gradiente registered the name "iphone" in 2000, seven years before Cupertino set up shop in that country, so now it has the right to continue using the word on its devices -- including the Android-powered iphone Neo One. The BBC reports that Apple is likely to appeal the decision, but if that fails there's always, ahem, the other option.

  • Samsung Super Bowl ad teases Apple

    by 
    Kelly Hodgkins
    Kelly Hodgkins
    02.01.2013

    As noted by Philip Elmer-DeWitt, Samsung spends almost $12 billion a year to promote its brand. A chunk of this money is going to clever ads like the one below that is a lead up to the company's bigger Super Bowl Sunday spot. Apple fans will likely see the irony in the video below, which pokes fun at the NFL and its tight licensing of its trademarks. Guess Samsung's disdain for intellectual property is evident in its commercials as well as real life. [Via Apple 2.0]

  • Apple scores trademark for store design

    by 
    Mike Wehner
    Mike Wehner
    01.31.2013

    Given that Apple is well-known for its iconic, glass-heavy store designs, the fact that the company has been attempting to trademark its look shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Now, Mashable reports that as we approach the three-year anniversary of Apple's attempt to trademark the design, the US Patent & Trademark Office has finally granted the company its request. "The store features a clear glass storefront surrounded by a paneled facade consisting of large, rectangular horizontal panels over the top of the glass front, and two narrower panels stacked on either side of the storefront," reads the trademark application. "Within the store, rectangular recessed lighting units traverse the length of the store's ceiling. There are cantilevered shelves below recessed display spaces along the side walls, and rectangular tables arranged in a line in the middle of the store parallel to the walls and extending from the storefront to the back of the store. There is multi-tiered shelving along the side walls, and a oblong table with stools located at the back of the store, set below video screens flush-mounted on the back wall." With Apple's habit of becoming entangled in legal disputes over its hardware designs being duplicated elsewhere, it'll be interesting to see if the ownership of its store layout spawns any further courtroom battles. We won't likely have to wait very long to find out.