Zenimax files trademark for "Dragonborn" - Page 3




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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaodi View Post
    If Zenimax wins, that would be messed up. So they used the term in passing a couple of time before Skyrim? Wizards has used it in far more products where it was of far greater prominence than anything Zenimax had done until last year.
    Not surprising given that Zenimax has proven to be pretty scummy in the legal arena. Like them trying to stop Notch from naming his new game "Scrolls" or trying to convince the court that they only licensed the name "Fallout" to Interplay for an MMO, and not the actual setting.

 

  • #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Janx View Post
    I hardly think "Dragonborn" is a generic word. How often does the word Dragon even show up in everyday speech? Let alone putting the two together.
    Adding -born to something to denote that something is derived from that thing isn't artistically unique or inventive, though, it's just simple English. Not to suggest that that has any implications for trademarks, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Janx View Post
    I hardly think "Dragonborn" is a generic word. How often does the word Dragon even show up in everyday speech? Let alone putting the two together.

    The lawyers on this thread would know best, but I'm pretty sure it ain't generic, even if genericness did apply. Apple is a far more generic word, and we all know how well that trademark is doing.
    It's not legally generic IMO - ie it would be *capable* of distinguishing goods/services; "Dragonborn: The Computer Game". But it is not currently distinctive, either. It looks untrademarkable to me at this time.
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    Apple is quite likely able to demand that no other company calls it self "Apple Company" or something like that or has electronics products named "Apple-Something".

    However, they have no right to forbid other people from selling Apple Pie or Apple Juice, or selling products in a color they call "apple green", or even calling their company "Johns Apple Orchard".

    A trademark is meant to prevent confusion between the products of different companies. Registering "Skyrim" or "Elder Scrolls" as trademarks is perfectly reasonable, as these are important names by which the products of a single company are identified. Which for "Dragonborn" is not the case.

    Though remember, that owners of The Elder Scrolls sued other people for using the world "scrolls" in their name, which I cansider nothing but fraudulent.

    Edit: Actually, they did it at least twice. At least in the second case, the final result was that the second company can release a game called "Scrolls" under the condition that it's not a direct competitor with The Elder Scrolls series, which as a trading card game/board game hybrid video game obviously is not the case. No likeliness of getting mistaken for each other, no claim to the word.
    If Scrolls would be an open world RPG, the situation would probably very different.
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    Quote Originally Posted by S'mon View Post
    It's not legally generic IMO - ie it would be *capable* of distinguishing goods/services; "Dragonborn: The Computer Game". But it is not currently distinctive, either. It looks untrademarkable to me at this time.
    that was the point I was making though, that "generic" wasn't an accurate term for the word DragonBorn.

    And during the build-up to Skyrim's release, Bethesda had ratcheted up their marketing. Including a contest to a lifetime supply of Elder Scrolls games if you named your kid Dovakihn (Dragonborn). They are, in effect, trying to brand the word.

    I can't really argue trademark law with a lawyer, I'm outgunned.

    I do see that what Zenimax is doing is trying to trademark associated words with their product. Everybody is familiar with the practice of trademarking your company name and product name.

    What gets forgotten is that media industries also try to trademark names of characters, races, etc. Remember when TSR trademarked Nazi? Go look up Halo related trademarks. I would be surprised if Master Chief, Covenenant, or Cortana wasn't trademarked. It's the same practice.

    Whether it'll hold, beats me, IANAL.

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    Whether it'll hold, beats me, IANAL.
    I hate that acronym- it looks so...dirty.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dannyalcatraz View Post
    I hate that acronym- it looks so...dirty.
    I blame the lawyers.

    I assume it traces back to some laws that non-lawyers can't represent others in court or give legal advice (except in China apparently). And there's some liability assumed when you give somebody legal advice and they follow it and it turns out to be wrong.

    This apparently led to people qualifying their statements, and declaring "I'm not a lawyer, so don't assume what I say is correct and legal advice." I guess that in turn caused people to acronymitize it and here we are.

    Or I could be totally wrong. It's been known to happen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Janx View Post
    I blame the lawyers.

    I assume it traces back to some laws that non-lawyers can't represent others in court or give legal advice (except in China apparently). And there's some liability assumed when you give somebody legal advice and they follow it and it turns out to be wrong.

    This apparently led to people qualifying their statements, and declaring "I'm not a lawyer, so don't assume what I say is correct and legal advice." I guess that in turn caused people to acronymitize it and here we are.

    Or I could be totally wrong. It's been known to happen.
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  • #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dannyalcatraz View Post
    I hate that acronym- it looks so...dirty.

    Like "I, Robot" but more organic?
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