Owner of Trenched Trademark in Europe Entrenches Himself for Trench Warfare Against Microsoft

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#101 Posted by djames216 (375 posts) -

These days, this kind of thing is so routine it almost doesn't seem worth reporting about, even Alex aludes to the fact that various properties get renamed in other regions.  Just give the (Trenched) game a different name already and move on.
 
Examples of games that were renamed (for whatever reason). 

U.S. Title
UK / Euro Title
Indigo Prophecy
Fahrenheit
Professor Layton & The Diabolical Box
Professor Layton & Pandora's Box
Professor Layton & The Unwound Future
Professor Layton & The Lost Future
Broken Sword: Circle of Blood
Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars
These are just a handful that I thought of off the top of my head.  The point is, this is nothing new or particularly noteworthy.
#102 Posted by bengino (4 posts) -
@whatisdelicious said:

@bengino said:

@Vorbis: because people are greedy and would gladly trademark every word in the world in order to make a quick buck. I personally think Trademarks should cover only what it's CURRENT use is for and not what MIGHT eventually happen.

You can't trademark something after it's already out; that makes no sense. Then you run into dumb situations like this. You have to trademark it before you do it and prove you have intent. Everyone is acting like this guy is an asshole for not bending over and giving up his trademark to a property he is currently using and plans to continue using just because they want to see a video game that could be easily rebranded release in Europe. It's stupid.

The guy had to already have been planning the electronic version. You don't just get a developer and a publisher overnight, especially when you're embroiled in a legal mess. iOS versions of board games have been pretty big lately, so it's not far-fetched to think that the guy already planned this game. It might be in the very early stages, but now his hand is forced into revealing it because he needs to prove that yeah, he intends to continue using the Trench trademark in the future.

Just call the game "Drenched" or "Untold Tales: Super Mechs of the Great World War" or "Super Mech Fighting Television Battlefield 120%" or whatever and release the fucking game already before it loses all relevance.

The guy is using it for a board game that he eventually wants to get to platforms... if the game flops (which i think it will) why would any company want to sink money in what could become a pit? Truthfully, a game should become well known before it gets planned as an electronic version. In any case i am not saying that the guy needs to fold like a 2$ ho, but the reality is the guy will probably never go anywhere with any versions of his game.
#103 Posted by eunao2 (117 posts) -

This guy is a dick, seriously just work with Microsoft to reach an agreement that favors both parties. And I highly doubt that he has a video game in the pipeline just like trenched...

#104 Edited by zerdune (160 posts) -

What is so "utterly baffling" about this news, Alex? These things happen all the time. No need to make this so dramatic. Also it's disgusting to see the typical gamer reaction of attacking this guy for following the proper rules of trademarking. The delay would have probably been averted altogether if Microsoft had checked if the name had been taken already. He has also an existing product and plans to expand the brand unlike Tim Langdell of Edge Games.

#105 Posted by onan (1286 posts) -

"Doublefine's Trenched"

Done. Battle over. Move on.

#106 Posted by JackSukeru (5913 posts) -

Not owning a 360 makes this a non-issue for me in either case, but I am curious what other name they could pick for the game ('cause that is what they should be doing).

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#107 Posted by whatisdelicious (1216 posts) -

@bengino said:

The guy is using it for a board game that he eventually wants to get to platforms... if the game flops (which i think it will) why would any company want to sink money in what could become a pit? Truthfully, a game should become well known before it gets planned as an electronic version. In any case i am not saying that the guy needs to fold like a 2$ ho, but the reality is the guy will probably never go anywhere with any versions of his game.

So it's not his right to try and succeed with his established brand just so Double Fine, who caused this whole mess with their complete lack of quick research, won't have to change the name of their game in one territory?

I went to the guy's website and poked around a bit (my own 5 minutes of quick research) and the guy's clearly put some thought and time into this game. It's a pretty unique concept that I found surprisingly cool, and from his descriptions, it sounds like he started developing it in 2009, well before Trenched was ever getting made. Honestly, I find it a little weird that they both deal with WWI and have such similar names. At this point, I'd be more interested in finding out where, exactly, Double Fine got the idea for Trenched.

Everyone's calling him a dick and an asshole for protecting his trademark, or for even making one in the first place, which is completely hypocritical considering everyone just wants to let Double Fine trademark the same word.

People need to stop vilifying this guy and start taking Double Fine and Microsoft to task for a) not doing their jobs and avoiding this whole mess, and b) not owning up to the fact that they fucked up and just rename the game to something more creative than "Trenched," which is a bad name anyway.

#108 Posted by DJ_EuroGhost (130 posts) -

Is this an EU thing? Because I had no problem purchasing Trenched right when it came out.

Oh, and I happened to be born in Norway.

#109 Posted by Krakn3Dfx (2490 posts) -

Anyone else just really tired of people/companies just being able to trademark words? Trench was a word long before some board game company named a game after it, and now it's a word that will forever require ownership or licensing to actually be used in anything except general conversation.

I don't even blame this Monteiro, they're just following in the footstep of other companies LIKE MICROSOFT who have made it commonplace to take words and make them off limits to anyone else.

I'm not rooting for anyone here except Doublefine, who are obviously losing money as long as Europeans aren't buying their game.

#110 Posted by RenegadeSaint (1548 posts) -

@LordCmdrStryker: It is my mistake for incorrectly mentioning copyright when in fact the argument revolves around trademark. If I recall correctly, there have been several arguments relating to copyrighting and protecting board games and other game mechanics in the U.S. (Scrabble comes to mind as a major player). This is what immediately crossed my mind, although I realize that it does not apply here.

That being said, I am quite aware of the definition of trench and the fact that a capital T looks different than a lowercase t. However, you make no compelling argument about why his trademark on "Trench" and its derivations does not apply here. Had the game been named, "Down in the Trenches," then it is very likely it would be a non-issue, as that title clearly refers to a location, likely on a battlefield. Simply calling a game Trenched does not clearly differentiate it from a strategy game called Trench. If you have a vast knowledge of international copyright/trademark/IP law and know something that I don't, please correct me. Patronizing links to Merriam-Webster and Wikipedia need not be included.

#111 Posted by brassmarsh (49 posts) -

"A Wargame Full of Portuguese Creativity" nuff said

#112 Posted by alternate (2707 posts) -

If y'all were not so eagar to play the game already how many would take the side of Microsoft against the little guy.  Three ways Microsoft could settl this very quickly. 
 
1. Research the trademark beforehand (okay, so time for this has passed). 
 
2. Re brand the game already. 
 
3. Take the money you were going to use to re brand and give it to the pissant little board game maker.  I very much doubt it would take much. 
 
My guess, with so little actual info available, is that MS fucked up with their due diligence and instead of taking the hit and settling with the trademark holder they tried to bully him and he done gone and got himself a lawyer calling their bluff.

#113 Posted by l4wd0g (1952 posts) -

Europeans are dicks

#114 Posted by _Horde (839 posts) -

@DudeOlav said:

Is this an EU thing? Because I had no problem purchasing Trenched right when it came out.

Oh, and I happened to be born in Norway.

Yep, it's EU. People just don't seem to know the difference between EU and Europe.

#115 Posted by GunslingerPanda (4757 posts) -

This sounds...

Completely reasonable.

Get over it; Microsoft and DoubleFine fucked up with their laughable handling of this.

#116 Posted by Mike76x (558 posts) -

Trënched.

#117 Posted by ScreamingFist (364 posts) -

Re-Brand: enTRENCHED

Problem solved.

#118 Posted by Xeiphyer (5604 posts) -

Why can't they just go ahead and keep it named Trenched, get rid of the derivative copyright argument for Trench. 
 
I'm sure both parties would be able to go on living, one with a product named Trench, and the other named Trenched. Its been fine in the past.

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#119 Posted by Death_Burnout (3797 posts) -

Someone go fuck this guy in the ear.

#120 Posted by soralapio (261 posts) -

@Bakumatsu said:

Sure. Because a dispute between a guy with a board game and some guys that made a videogame is on the same league that an international debt that has been costing thousands of jobs to the portuguese people and causing cuts in the subsidies that we receive. A debt that we have because of bad political decisions that led to spend money that we didn't have. So, unless you're portuguese don't talk of things you don't know.

Wow, sounds like humor isn't your thing over there. Keep on truckin'!

#121 Posted by Chadster (326 posts) -

Just call it Drenched and release it already.

#122 Posted by demontium (4709 posts) -

Trunched

#123 Posted by HowDire (269 posts) -

@onan said:

"Doublefine's Trenched"

Done. Battle over. Move on.

This.

#124 Posted by Sgtpierceface (624 posts) -

They should call it Psychonauts 2.

#125 Posted by mnzy (2914 posts) -
@DudeOlav said:

Is this an EU thing? Because I had no problem purchasing Trenched right when it came out.

Oh, and I happened to be born in Norway.

Well the article said he granted the rights for the European Union. So yeah, probably.
#126 Posted by FlipperDesert (2087 posts) -

I think the worst thing about this is that I'm beginning to lose interest in getting the game now. After all this legal bullshit is through the game will have been out a long time before it comes out in the UK. If it does, that is.

#127 Posted by FuzzYLemoN (1600 posts) -

The puns, they burn.

#128 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

The word "trench" should not be trademarkable. Just like the word "edge" should not be. This is why most of the time you will see games that use a common word but they change the spelling to something unique so they can trademark it. But just trademarking any random word is stupid. Hey I'm going to trademark the work "Fight" and now no one anywhere can use it. It's ridiculous.

#129 Posted by Damian (1538 posts) -

I don't know how anyone can read this story and think this dude is anywhere near in the wrong. This one dude had the foresight that neither Doublefine or Microsoft had, and now he owns it. He wins! That's fucking it. Don't be a baby about it. The name is not even that good to begin with.
And unless MS intends to just throw a bunch of money at him for what he owns, they should do one of two things:
1. Acknowledge their incompetence, rebrand it and carry on. 
2. Acknowledge their incompetence, don't rebrand it and don't hit the European market.

#130 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -

Entrenched is a better name anyway. Just call it that.

#131 Posted by Liber (648 posts) -

Double Fine should hire European assassins to murder that guy.

#132 Edited by TyrellOCP (336 posts) -

I'm drafting an email to him right now.

#133 Posted by Sharpshooter (887 posts) -

@l4wd0g said:

Europeans are dicks

Not all of us but yeah.

#134 Posted by geirr (2574 posts) -

@ryanwho said:

Entrenched is a better name anyway. Just call it that.

Hear hear.

#135 Posted by Stahlbrand (838 posts) -

Christ, what an asshole.

#136 Posted by Sander (414 posts) -

Microsoft are dicks. Did we forget the E3 podcast already?

#137 Posted by whatisdelicious (1216 posts) -

@McGhee_the_Insomniac said:

The word "trench" should not be trademarkable. Just like the word "edge" should not be. This is why most of the time you will see games that use a common word but they change the spelling to something unique so they can trademark it. But just trademarking any random word is stupid. Hey I'm going to trademark the work "Fight" and now no one anywhere can use it. It's ridiculous.

You can't just trademark a word randomly. That's what people aren't getting. You have to be able to prove that you have intent to actually use that trademark. This guy proved that two years ago when he developed his board game. Double Fine and Microsoft couldn't be bothered to do their jobs and check existing trademarks before they named the game, nor did they check until they were just about to release it.

Trademarks are important, otherwise you'd have twenty different properties coming out all named "Halo" or "Google" or "Star Wars" or whatever and it'd all be a huge fucking mess and all brands would be hurt by it. Just because Double Fine and Microsoft were this lazy doesn't mean the process of trademarking a word is ridiculous.

#138 Posted by FateOfNever (1839 posts) -

This just continues to make me feel like trademark and copyright laws are becoming more and more outdated for modern times.  Reminds me of when I first found out that they have to refer to Jazz from Transformers as Autobot Jazz sometimes due to trademarking.  
 
I do wonder if there's some reason why they haven't simply rebranded Trenched yet though.  Also, Drenched would not work for a new name, that joke only applies to pretty much Giant Bomb fans.  I'd be curious to know what all words exactly are covered by his trademark though.

#139 Posted by eezo (284 posts) -

What ? i downloaded the game on day 1 and i live in Norway. I hope i don't loose the game or something now ..

#140 Posted by Aishan (1015 posts) -
@eezo: It's an EU trademark, it doesn't apply to Norway.
#141 Posted by eezo (284 posts) -

@Aishan said:

@eezo: It's an EU trademark, it doesn't apply to Norway.

How does that even make sense? Norway is in Europe..

#142 Posted by Aishan (1015 posts) -
@eezo said:

@Aishan said:

@eezo: It's an EU trademark, it doesn't apply to Norway.

How does that even make sense? Norway is in Europe..

It's not in the EU, though.
#143 Posted by fisk0 (4119 posts) -

@eezo said:

@Aishan said:

@eezo: It's an EU trademark, it doesn't apply to Norway.

How does that even make sense? Norway is in Europe..

Norway isn't a member of the EU.

#144 Edited by fisk0 (4119 posts) -

Couldn't they make Trenched a subtitle or something, kind of like how the first Freespace game was titled Conflict: Freespace - The Great War in Europe (edit: the Descent title was US)?

Like MONOVISION WAVE DEFENSE: TRENCHED or something.

#145 Posted by ervonymous (1297 posts) -

I wonder who holds the trademark for 'Nocturne' in Europe, SMT3 goes by the name of Lucifer's Call here. That's also a pretty generic-ass word to take issue with but what can you do.

#146 Posted by august (3846 posts) -

Trenched: Reckoning.

#147 Posted by sins_of_mosin (1556 posts) -

So, he trademarked a word, hasn't actually made any product, and is pissy that nobody cared that he trademarked it till now?  Just make a NA account if you really wanted to play the game.

#148 Posted by whatisdelicious (1216 posts) -

@sins_of_mosin said:

So, he trademarked a word, hasn't actually made any product, and is pissy that nobody cared that he trademarked it till now? Just make a NA account if you really wanted to play the game.

Go to his website.

#149 Posted by eezo (284 posts) -

@Aishan said:

@eezo said:

@Aishan said:

@eezo: It's an EU trademark, it doesn't apply to Norway.

How does that even make sense? Norway is in Europe..

It's not in the EU, though.

oh rite, well thats just my luck then! :D

#150 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

Ugh. Times like this the governments of the world need to nut up and say "THE WORD IS FUCKING TRENCH YOU CAN'T OWN IT NOW FUCK OFF CHILD."

@Liber said:

Double Fine should hire European assassins to murder that guy.

This is also an option.

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