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

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alex

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Edited By alex

We've previously covered the utterly baffling issue between Microsoft and Portuguese board game maker Rui Alípio Monteiro over the trademark for Trenched, Double Fine's World War I mech combat tower defense game currently available in the Americas, but as yet unreleased across the pond in Europe.

The filthy, ill-gotten brand name in question.
The filthy, ill-gotten brand name in question.

In short: Monteiro owns the European rights to the name "Trench" and all relevant derivations thereof in several European territories. Evidently, someone at Microsoft didn't bother to check on that before attempting to release the game in Europe, resulting in a "whoopises!" situation that has thus far prevented European players from downloading the critically acclaimed title.

Up to this point, we've heard little from Monteiro on the matter, but today he finally broke his silence, releasing a lengthy statement to Eurogamer that signaled his intent to fight Microsoft on the matter, and also to release his own game under the Trench moniker somewhere down the road.

The original statement is rather lengthy and full of flowery descriptions of Monteiro's board game in question, but here are a few of the highlight paragraphs.

== TEASER ==
Always bearing the international market in mind, and after legal advice, Rui Alípio Monteiro registered the brand both in Portugal and internationally. In September 2009, he was granted the Trademark Registration Certificate for Trench nº 007508501 in the European Union. On 18th June 2010 he applied for the Trademark Registration of Trench in the USA, whose registration was granted on the 15th March 2011 under the Register nº 85066103.
He also owns the international Certificates regarding the visual aspect of the game and components. Although the original idea was to produce a board game, he has also registered the trademark for electronic Games, since part of Rui Alípio Monteiro's global project is to turn Trench into an appealing electronic game, already in the development phase.

A couple of interesting things to point out in those statements. One, he states that he applied for a US trademark in June of 2010, and was granted the trademark in March of this year. How this trademark failed to interfere with Trenched's US release is unclear, though it's possible that the US trademark did not include derivative titles.

On the subject of a Trench video game, Monteiro's statement goes on to state that his game has a developer and even a publisher for Spanish and Portuguese distribution.

In regards to Microsoft and Trenched, the statement finally reiterates Monteiro's plan to fight the publisher on any attempts to infringe upon his trademark.

"This company, until the present date, has never contacted nor has any relation with Rui Alípio Monteiro. 'Criações a Solo' and Rui Alípio Monteiro, taking into account all investment already made, cannot do anything else but to obviously defend all their author's copyright and intellectual property against any infringements, as any designer would, and perpetuate their creation with the main goal of putting Trench in the international Hall of Fame of both classic electronic and board games."

Once again, this could all probably just end if Microsoft and Double Fine joined forces to re-brand Trenched in Europe. Movies do it all the time! Want to know what Basic Instinct was called in Japan? Smirk of Ice! What does that even mean? I don't know, but it still made money! And when Trenched is inevitably renamed to Super Mech Fighting Television Battlefield 120%, I'm sure it will make plenty of money then, too.

Until then, European players will just have to keep on waiting as they have been. Isn't trademark and copyright law fun?

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alex

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#1  Edited By alex

We've previously covered the utterly baffling issue between Microsoft and Portuguese board game maker Rui Alípio Monteiro over the trademark for Trenched, Double Fine's World War I mech combat tower defense game currently available in the Americas, but as yet unreleased across the pond in Europe.

The filthy, ill-gotten brand name in question.
The filthy, ill-gotten brand name in question.

In short: Monteiro owns the European rights to the name "Trench" and all relevant derivations thereof in several European territories. Evidently, someone at Microsoft didn't bother to check on that before attempting to release the game in Europe, resulting in a "whoopises!" situation that has thus far prevented European players from downloading the critically acclaimed title.

Up to this point, we've heard little from Monteiro on the matter, but today he finally broke his silence, releasing a lengthy statement to Eurogamer that signaled his intent to fight Microsoft on the matter, and also to release his own game under the Trench moniker somewhere down the road.

The original statement is rather lengthy and full of flowery descriptions of Monteiro's board game in question, but here are a few of the highlight paragraphs.

== TEASER ==
Always bearing the international market in mind, and after legal advice, Rui Alípio Monteiro registered the brand both in Portugal and internationally. In September 2009, he was granted the Trademark Registration Certificate for Trench nº 007508501 in the European Union. On 18th June 2010 he applied for the Trademark Registration of Trench in the USA, whose registration was granted on the 15th March 2011 under the Register nº 85066103.
He also owns the international Certificates regarding the visual aspect of the game and components. Although the original idea was to produce a board game, he has also registered the trademark for electronic Games, since part of Rui Alípio Monteiro's global project is to turn Trench into an appealing electronic game, already in the development phase.

A couple of interesting things to point out in those statements. One, he states that he applied for a US trademark in June of 2010, and was granted the trademark in March of this year. How this trademark failed to interfere with Trenched's US release is unclear, though it's possible that the US trademark did not include derivative titles.

On the subject of a Trench video game, Monteiro's statement goes on to state that his game has a developer and even a publisher for Spanish and Portuguese distribution.

In regards to Microsoft and Trenched, the statement finally reiterates Monteiro's plan to fight the publisher on any attempts to infringe upon his trademark.

"This company, until the present date, has never contacted nor has any relation with Rui Alípio Monteiro. 'Criações a Solo' and Rui Alípio Monteiro, taking into account all investment already made, cannot do anything else but to obviously defend all their author's copyright and intellectual property against any infringements, as any designer would, and perpetuate their creation with the main goal of putting Trench in the international Hall of Fame of both classic electronic and board games."

Once again, this could all probably just end if Microsoft and Double Fine joined forces to re-brand Trenched in Europe. Movies do it all the time! Want to know what Basic Instinct was called in Japan? Smirk of Ice! What does that even mean? I don't know, but it still made money! And when Trenched is inevitably renamed to Super Mech Fighting Television Battlefield 120%, I'm sure it will make plenty of money then, too.

Until then, European players will just have to keep on waiting as they have been. Isn't trademark and copyright law fun?

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Example1013

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#3  Edited By Example1013

Stupid ninja mods.

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BasketSnake

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#4  Edited By BasketSnake

If there's a will there's a way.

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wolf_blitzer85

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#5  Edited By wolf_blitzer85

What a dick.

Edit: Okay I understand the whole protecting his trademark deal. That's fine. The announcement of his own game using a similar name? That sounds like being a dick to me. You know just read the rest of the article.

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mesklinite

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#6  Edited By mesklinite

I'm sure this "Trench" video game will be great. /sarcasm off
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Example1013

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#7  Edited By Example1013

@dcgc: I like how you posted 5 random nonsense letters, and I still already had posted twice by the time you got here.

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winsord

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#8  Edited By winsord

@wolf_blitzer85 said:

What a dick.

My thoughts exactly. What's confusing to me however, is how did they not find out about this when they first decided the name would be "Trenched"? Surely they should have found the copyright claims on the title, or did they just not believe that someone would try to sue them over the likeness of Trench and Trenched?

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Clubvodka

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#9  Edited By Clubvodka

As an Englishman who wants to play this game, this has gone beyond stupid. I don't blame Microsoft because it seems like our European friend is just after money. I really don't think Trenched would ever steal an audience from Trench: The Board Game: The Video Game (if that ever comes out). 

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Aishan

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#10  Edited By Aishan
@wolf_blitzer85: He's not being "a dick." he's protecting his trademark. 
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louiedog

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#11  Edited By louiedog

GB users have already thought of some good names for the game.
 
link

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probablytuna

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#12  Edited By probablytuna

This reminds me of the guy who owns the trademarks to the term "Edge" and all its derivative titles.

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Sil3n7

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#13  Edited By Sil3n7

This is just dumb.

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TheMasterDS

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#14  Edited By TheMasterDS

Fuck that guy. He's just as bad as the asshole who owns "The word edge when it relates to video games."

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wolf_blitzer85

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#15  Edited By wolf_blitzer85

@Aishan said:

@wolf_blitzer85: He's not being "a dick." he's protecting his trademark.

Right I understand that part. The part where he then announces his own game with a similar name is kinda dickish though.

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soralapio

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#16  Edited By soralapio

Honestly, I'm not even waiting anymore. I looked forward to Trenched like CRAZY for months. Then after a couple of weeks of utter frustration as Microsoft said nothing and Double Fine just kept saying "lol we hope it comes out some day FUNNY FACE", I kind of lost interest. By the time this shit wraps up, we'll be knee deep in other games. Shame all around.

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Charles4U

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#17  Edited By Charles4U

Trenched is kind of a crap name anyway.
It'd be good to see it get renamed.

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embryo69

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#18  Edited By embryo69

It is proposterous that you can trademark the word Trench and any of its derivatives. Surely, you can not talk about WW1 without mentioning Trenches (Sorry), Trenches®. Copyright and Trademark law is bullshit!

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rndmtask

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#20  Edited By rndmtask

Super Mech Fighting Television Battlefield 120% > Trenched

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Example1013

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#21  Edited By Example1013

@dcgc: I posted "First. Suck it." and "That one's dedicated to Claude." They got ninja deleted. Whatevs.

The guy's protecting his trademark, and to be fair, when translated into other languages the name really could become confusing. I mean, how many other languages even have a verb for "trenched"?

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Rolyatkcinmai

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#22  Edited By Rolyatkcinmai

I really enjoy it when @Alex gets to write articles about absurd shit. He so crazy.

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craigbo180

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#23  Edited By craigbo180

Super Mech Fighting Television Battlefield 120% isn't actually a bad name. Also Alex's streak of writing the best headlines on the internet continues.

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#24  Edited By alistercat  Online

I know nothing of how the law actually works, but it's such a general term (like Tim Langdell's 'Edge) that the trademuch should not cover all derivations. An electronic version of a board game should not cover completely different game genre's conceptually. This whole thing is just a real shame and this guy has a right to defend something that is legally his, it should not work that way. Your board game is not this game, even if the naming is similar.

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mracoon

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#25  Edited By mracoon  Moderator

I feel sorry for Double Fine. Many of us Europeans want to play their game but are unable to do because Microsoft couldn't be bothered to check if the name was trademarked already.

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wolf_blitzer85

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#26  Edited By wolf_blitzer85

@Winsord said:

@wolf_blitzer85 said:

What a dick.

My thoughts exactly. What's confusing to me however, is how did they not find out about this when they first decided the name would be "Trenched"? Surely they should have found the copyright claims on the title, or did they just not believe that someone would try to sue them over the likeness of Trench and Trenched?

I don't know. Somebody forgot to do their homework.

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Vorbis

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#27  Edited By Vorbis

Reminds me of the Edge guy. Trademarking Trench is fine, but why does he need Trenched aswell?

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#29  Edited By jeffk38uk

Should just rename the game to Edge.
 
 
Oh wait, hang on....

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#30  Edited By CosmicQueso

@wolf_blitzer85: Yeah, wanting to protect an IP he's created and ensure he can continue making a living through it. Yeah, wow, what a jerk.

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#31  Edited By PXAbstraction

Looks like Tim Langdell has been inspiring others. Sad. I sincerely hope Microsoft is compensating Double Fine for their failure to properly research trademarks, especially since Microsoft owns the Trenched IP, the first Double Fine game they don't own if I recall.

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Agonoid

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#32  Edited By Agonoid

"Super Mech Fighting Television Battlefield 120%" - I want this game :P

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LordCmdrStryker

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#33  Edited By LordCmdrStryker

@AlisterCat said:

I know nothing of how the law actually works, but it's such a general term (like Tim Langdell's 'Edge) that the trademuch should not cover all derivations. An electronic version of a board game should not cover completely different game genre's conceptually. This whole thing is just a real shame and this guy has a right to defend something that is legally his, it should not work that way. Your board game is not this game, even if the naming is similar.

QUOTED FOR TRUTH. When the system lets Apple get a trademark on "App Store," we have serious issues. And yes, I know we have the goddamn Container Store, as well. That doesn't make it any less stupid.

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Example1013

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#34  Edited By Example1013

@dcgc: The guy probably has the patent held in 15-20 different languages. He was smart enough to grab patents everywhere and for a bunch of different versions of the word in Europe because of the derivations due to language, I'd imagine. That might cause conflicts in areas where the native language doesn't have a specific word for "trench" the verb.

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Zolfe

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#35  Edited By Zolfe

looks like its time to use the "Drenched" name now, just add a toggle where you can make the screen a blueish tint and also, on the trenched logo cover the T with a boat tilted 90 degrees so it looks like a D.
 
also i fucking hate all this IP stuff, not just this specific case, but IP and copyright and everything it's fucking dumb, it served its purpose during the last few centuries but now its going overboard

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ryno9881

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#36  Edited By ryno9881

I get the feeling that he is making a game because people now know the name trenched. I somehow doubt this guy has been making a video game of the same/similar name this whole time.

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saddlebrown

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#37  Edited By saddlebrown

I don't really get why anyone is siding with Microsoft or Double Fine on this. If they seriously couldn't be bothered to take a few minutes out of their day (ya know, "doing their jobs") to check trademarks in Europe, then I totally agree with this Monteiro guy.

Just call the game something else and be done with it. Christ.

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mnzy

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#38  Edited By mnzy
@embryo69 said:

It is proposterous that you can trademark the word Trench and any of its derivatives. Surely, you can not talk about WW1 without mentioning Trenches (Sorry), Trenches®. Copyright and Trademark law is bullshit!

It really is...I should start trademarking random words that could appear in the media sometimes, too.
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LordCmdrStryker

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#39  Edited By LordCmdrStryker

http://www.criacoesasolo.com/ Trench the Board Game

Yeah, I can totally see how this would instantly get confused with Trenched...

He made a sideways checkerboard with some square tiles on it. What a fucking joke this all is.

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xpgamer7

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#40  Edited By xpgamer7

@wolf_blitzer85 said:

What a dick.

Kind of agree. I understand the trademark thing but the electronic game that isn't even out yet is a jerk move.

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XenoNick

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#41  Edited By XenoNick

Oh for fucks sake. Just want this shit to be sorted so I can play the fucking game!

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Winternet

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#42  Edited By Winternet

Oh my god, I can't believe it. Someone needs to whoop this guy's ass.

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ervonymous

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#43  Edited By ervonymous

Copyrights and trademarks will kill us one of these days.

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Dain22

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#44  Edited By Dain22

I understand why someone would want to protect their trademark, but I wish these parties could work together and enhance both of their brands instead of getting into a legal cluster-fuck.

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hockeymask27

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#45  Edited By hockeymask27

Wow this guys is a dick.

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Jeffsekai

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#46  Edited By Jeffsekai

What an asshole.

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pjwarrior

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#47  Edited By pjwarrior

Hey guys.... 
 
I'm from Portugal and I would just like to say..... I HAVE NEVER HEARD ABOUT THIS BOARD GAME BEFORE !!! 
 
So if you'll excuse, i'll go find where this guy lives and kick him in the ass for being such an a-hole... 
 
Also the portuguese translation for trenched is "entrincheirar"...

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#48  Edited By cikame

Asshole makes a board game and thinks he's all high and mighty, but i have to issue some blame on Microsoft, if they figured out this problem before hand we and Double Fine wouldn't be waiting.... but then i also have to blame the asshole again because his board game isn't a mech based tower defense game is it so non of this should be happening.

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#49  Edited By bengino
@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.
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#50  Edited By bengino

also i just noticed... at the bottom of the page, it says "CODE NAME: TRENCH" which means this was not meant to be used as the official name of the game...

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