So, this is weird.
Since Double Fine's mech combat tower defense game, Trenched, released to a fair bit of critical acclaim on Xbox Live Arcade last week, some European players have been baffled as to why the game hasn't seen release in their territory. Double Fine, by proxy of studio head Tim Schafer's Twitter feed, stated that they too were in the dark on the issue, and waiting for news (presumably from publisher Microsoft) just like everyone else.
That may be because the whole thing is kind of a big, honking screw-up on somebody's part. As it turns out, a Portuguese board game designer named Rui Alípio Monteiro owns the trademark on the name Trench (and presumably all derivations thereof) in pertinence to a board game he designed. The game has been around since 2007, and because of the trademark, Microsoft is evidently forbidden from releasing Trenched in several European territories.
Eurogamer contacted Monteiro, who simply confirmed the existence of the trademark and offered no additional comment, beyond a redirection to his website for info on the game. The board game in question also uses World War I as a theme, though is sadly lacking in mech suits and Rasputin-inspired, TV-obsessed bad guys.
Presumably, Double Fine could do a little patchwork to rename the game in the relevant territories, but sadly, it seems like no matter what ends up happening, some European players simply won't be able to play Trenched for at least a while longer. Perhaps they can take solace in the fact that Lucha Fury was released on XBLA in Europe last week with no hassle to speak of. And by take solace, I of course mean experience frequent bouts of unchecked, murderous rage.