Blizzard’s Overwatch beta gets underway this year but will they have to change the game’s name first?
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has suspended Blizzard’s trademark applications for their upcoming shooter Overwatch. The reason for the suspension is the filing of another trademark for the name Overwatch made by Innovis Labs which was filed prior to the Blizzard filing.
The introduction notice from the the USPTO issued on 9 January reads:
“In a previous Office Action, dated July 11, 2014, the trademark examining attorney noted a prior pending application that, if it matured to registration, may result in the refusal of applicant’s mark under Trademark Act Section 2(d) because of a likelihood of confusion between the two marks. See 15 U.S.C. §1052(d); 37 C.F.R. §2.83; TMEP §§1208 et seq.
“Rather than issue the noted Office Action, the trademark examining attorney should have suspended the application. The examining attorney apologizes for any inconvenience caused by the issuance of said Action.”
What this means is that Blizzard were beaten to the name application by Innovis for their Overwatch smartphones app which also falls into the category of online computer games, the same as Blizzard’s Overwatch.
Perhaps Blizzard will throw a load of cash at Innovis and ask them nicely if they could change the name of their app. If that doesn’t work, it’s likely Blizzard will have to take another look at the naming of their upcoming game.
There appears to be no indication that Blizzard has challenged any decisions made by the USPTO and this has ultimately led to the suspension.