Ooops – Blizzard are in for a headache, as the trademark for their team-based shooter, Overwatch, has been suspended. The meddlesome reason for the suspension is due to a predated trademark by smartphone app company Innovis Labs, Inc. who have an app called Overwatch.
Blizzard have not responded to the “conflict of likelihood” raised by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, resulting in their application being suspended until further notice.
Blizzard filed their application for Overwatch in April last year, which after many raised eye brows and tin foil hats, was revealed at last year’s BlizzConas their next new IP – an objective based mutliplayer shooter.
Unfortunately though, the USPTO formally suspended the two applications after discovering a filing by Innovis Labs, Inc. supersedes Blizzard’s applications. The application in particular is for a smartphone app by the same name, which is used to enhance the experience of real life paintball, laser tag and airsoft matches.
“Inspired by classic first-person shooter video games, Overwatch is the next generation of interactive gaming.” reads the product description. “Using Overwatch, all the technology you’ve come to love from combat and first-person shooter video games is available in real life – right on your smartphone. Overwatch isn’t just another smartphone game; it’s a tactical utility to enhance airsoft, paintball and first-person shooter gameplay.”
The notice of suspension has not yet been responded to by Blizzard themselves, resulting in the USPTO sending Innovis Labs, Inc. a Statement of Allowance: which according to the USPTO glossary gives them six months to file for a Statement of Use, which will allow Innovis Labs, Inc. to use the trademark commercially.
There’s multiple possible outcomes of this situation, but the likely one is that Blizzard will have to change the name of their game to avoid legal action. But these sorts of dilemmas have happened in the past, and with very surprising outcomes.
Thanks to NeoGaf user Rösti for the very detailed source.