EA chooses not to fight Ubisoft over their attempted trademark for the name of development studio Ghost Games, withdrawing their trademark application.
A month ago, Ubisoft served a lawsuit against EA for their use of a Ghost logo and an attempt to trademark the term for one of the development studios under the general EA umbrella. While it may have seemed like a frivolous lawsuit to some, it would appear that EA has decided it’s not worth fighting over.
EA has officially dropped the attempt to trademark the term Ghost for the development studio Ghost Games, known for creating the Need for Speed games. Ubisoft threatened legal action against EA for their trademark attempt, claiming that there would be confusion between the Ghost Games trademark and Ubisoft’s own series, Ghost Recon. Chances are that Ubisoft was particularly on edge about EA’s use of the term since Ghost Recon: Wildlands has just recently been announced, and they may have felt that their ability to promote it could have been infringed upon.
The studio in question will presumably continue to create games, but it will have to be under a different name. At this time, there’s no telling what EA will choose, but they’ll presumably take some time to make sure that they’re not stepping on another company’s toes in the process, even if it’s only a loose association between the two names.
Considering that Ubisoft is currently attempting to avoid a hostile takeover by Vivendi, this lawsuit could have turned into a very messy event for both EA and Ubisoft. If EA hadn’t dropped the trademark and Vivendi became a major shareholder, there’s no telling whether or not they would have continued to fight the trademark.
There’s very little resemblance between a cute ghost logo and the simple name ‘ghost’ and the easily recognizable, long-running Ghost Recon series that Ubisoft sought to protect. Considering that ‘ghost’ is just a word, and that it only makes up a portion of the title of Ghost Recon (which has nothing to do with apparitions typically referred to as ghosts), there’s a strong likelihood that this legal action wouldn’t have been a success for Ubisoft. Other developers who’ve gone on the offensive by attempting to trademark single words or terms, like the developer of Candy Crush attempting to trademark the word ‘candy’, or Sony’s outlandish attempt to trademark the term ‘Let’s Play’ have been abject failures.
We’ll have to wait and see what EA chooses to take the place of the Ghost Games studio. In any case, given its standing as an existing studio that’s produced prior games, chances are it’ll be back in action under a new moniker sometime soon.
Do you think Ubisoft had valid reasons for fighting EA’s Ghost Games trademark? Let us know in the comments.