Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law

Sony denied trademark for new game

New Jersey businesses are able to seek copyrights and trademarks of their intellectual property in order to protect it. After companies file for copyrights or trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, their proposed marks and intellectual property will be investigated to make certain that they comply with the law and are not too similar to material that has already received trademarks or copyrights.

In one case involving Sony, the company's new Frozen Wilds DLC, which was set to be released in two weeks, was denied its trademark. The USPTO found that the name was too similar to another game by HUUUGE Studios, which is called Frozen Wild. The USPTO also found that Sony's game is too similar to the HUUUGE Studios game, which already has a trademark.

It is unclear what Sony will do since it has already invested heavily in its branding of the game, and the release is scheduled within weeks. Under the law, however, proposed marks that are so similar to registered trademarks that they could confuse consumers may be denied.

The case demonstrates the importance of conducting thorough research of proposed trademarks before filing trademark applications. Experienced intellectual property lawyers might research their clients' proposed marks to ensure that they comply with trademark law and are not similar to other marks that have already been registered with the USPTO. The lawyers also may appear before the USPTO and Trademark Trial and Appeals Board for their clients when other parties challenge their marks. By conducting thorough investigations of the marks before submitting the applications for their clients with the USPTO, the attorneys may help their clients secure trademarks and to overcome potential challenges by other businesses and individuals. This may help their clients to protect their intellectual property.

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Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law - Intellectual Property

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