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Blizzard’s New IP Overwatch Has Trademark Issues
Blizzard can vanquish demons, alien hordes, and undead armies, but they might not be able to beat the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Overwatch, the developer’s newest intellectual property in years, has run into a bit of a copyright snag. Yesterday, the USPTO issued Blizzard a suspension notice for their pending trademark application.
User Rosti over on NeoGAF has broken these documents down. Apparently, the problem is that Blizzard’s Overwatch trademark is too similar to a previously-filed but still pending trademark application by Innovis Labs, Inc. Both trademarks deal with products in the general area of gaming and electronics, and the USPTO states in the suspension notice that there might be “a likelihood of confusion.”
Innovis Labs’ Overwatch is a smartphone app “inspired by classic first-person shooter video games” for use in paintball and airsoft activities– a “tactical utility” that resembles the mini-maps in Call Of Duty or Battlefield. There is a mount for your phone, and presumably it can be rigged to your weapon system or other piece of equipment.
For now, both applications from both companies have been suspended pending a final deposition.
Blizzard might need to start thinking of some new names for their nascent IP. Can I suggest something with the word “craft” in it?