Recently, Need for Speed publisher Electronic Arts filed to trademark the word ‘Ghosts’ in relation to video games. Why? Because they effectively own developer Ghost Games, recently responsible for EA’s Need for Speed reboot. Unfortunately, Ghost Recon’s publisher, Ubisoft aren’t happy and have opposed the application on the grounds that gamers would be confused or deceived by EA’s use of the word.
So obviously this news is a little different, but we find it insightful as it provides a look into how these big companies go about spending the money they generate to benefit the video-games industry, or in this case, the college funds of their lawyers children. Now at first, this whole argument may come across as petty, but the reality is that these companies are forever chipping away at each other. And it isn’t just the video-games industry, it’s anywhere and everywhere that big multi-million dollar companies are competing, supermarkets, vehicle manufacturers, you name it they’re all doing it.
The official document reads as follows: “Consumers are likely to believe, mistakenly, that the goods and services Applicant EA offers under Applicant’s Mark are provided, sponsored, endorsed or approved by Opposers Ubisoft, or are in some way affiliated, connected or associated with Opposers.” Well, as a gamer, I believe I speak for all of us when I say, no… We will not make that mistake.
However, in this instance we don’t really feel that Ubisoft are being petty when they’ve opposed the application. Ubisoft have been developing AND publishing the “Ghost Recon” series since 2001, that’s almost 15 years worth of hard-work, billions worth of investment and we can’t even begin to imagine the stress and strain that the work force have endured building the brand. All to now be told that they cannot use the word “Ghost” in relation to their games? That must be a daunting prospect.
It’s worse when you consider that EA’s “Ghost Games” has only really been around since 2012, when EA choose to re-name their EA-Gothenburg shortly after they announced that this studio would be dedicated to the Need for Speed franchise. Regardless, EA now have until March 9th to respond to the block.