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A TSR Announces a Star Frontiers Reboot

One of the new TSRs (yes there are now two TSRs!) has announced a reboot of Star Frontiers, the sci-fi game made by the original TSR back in the 1980s. Star Frontiers was a percentile dice roleplaying game set in a galaxy with four races (Human, Dralasite, Vrusk, and Yazirian) which were re-used by WotC in d20 Future in 2004.

Happy to announce that in addition to our flagship new world and game system by James M. Ward & Dinehart, GiantLands, and Justin LaNasa's children's RPG Tales & Tots, our next internal project "Star Frontiers", a reboot of the original, is currently in preproduction and has Larry Elmore attached. Stay tuned for more details!

It appears that one of the new TSRs registered the trademark in April. More if I hear it!

You can currently buy the game from WotC on DriveThruRpg, so I'm not sure how that works. When asked about this on Facebook, one of the TSRs answered:

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Of course, Evil Hat Productions registered the Star Frontiers trademark, too, back in July 2017.


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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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Dire Bare

Legend
Oh that's right Sasquatch studio put that out.
They must own the name to Alternity.
WotC allowed their trademark on the Alternity name to lapse, and Sasquatch picked it up for their spiritual successor game to the original Alternity. However, Sasquatch doesn't have any rights to the IP associated with the original game, like the StarDrive or DarkMatter settings. They just have the name, and their version of the rules.

I don't think that would prevent WotC from releasing digital copies of the original game on drivethrurpg.com . . . . but they haven't done so yet, and there must be a reason . . . .
 

pemerton

Legend
WotC allowed their trademark on the Alternity name to lapse, and Sasquatch picked it up for their spiritual successor game to the original Alternity. However, Sasquatch doesn't have any rights to the IP associated with the original game, like the StarDrive or DarkMatter settings. They just have the name, and their version of the rules.

I don't think that would prevent WotC from releasing digital copies of the original game on drivethrurpg.com . . . . but they haven't done so yet, and there must be a reason . . . .
If Sasquatch own the Alternity trademark, then WotC would likely need to reach some sort of agreement with them before using that branding for products that it wishes to sell.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
If Sasquatch own the Alternity trademark, then WotC would likely need to reach some sort of agreement with them before using that branding for products that it wishes to sell.
The original Alternity products? I'm not so sure . . . but, not a lawyer, so perhaps.
 

pemerton

Legend
The original Alternity products? I'm not so sure . . . but, not a lawyer, so perhaps.
Yes, the original products. A trademark is an exclusive right to use a mark in the course of trade - relative to product and to market. That last bit introduces some complexity, but the basic point is that if Sasquatch owns the Alternity trademark then WotC cannot use that mark in the course of trade, if they're trying to sell the same product - a RPG - into the same market.
 

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