Alright ranters, we got an ultimate fighting beef on our hands. However, its probably not the beef your thinking about, no haymakers being thrown, or stamina bars dropping to zilch. This beef is literally regarding the term “Ultimate Fighting.”
Zuffa (parent company of mixed martial arts league UFC) has sued Ubisoft for copyright infringement for using the term “Ultimate Fighting,” in their latest, less-than-stellar motion control game, entitled Fighters Uncaged. So it seems that the fight is beginning to stretch out of the octagon, and into the courtroom.
Zuffa is attempting to make the case that the use of the UFC trademarked term “Ultimate Fighting” is being deliberately used to confuse consumers – and create an association to the UFC and illegal street fighting. Fighters Uncaged is a game of underground street fighting, that encourages players to “become the Ultimate Fighting weapon.” Whoops!
The complaint further states that this infringement greatly tarnishes the UFC’s reputation, therefore hurting it as a business, and is asking that all Ubisoft companies be ordered to cease producing infringing content and that all merchandise bearing the trademarked phrase be destroyed. Ubisoft, for obvious fiscal reasons, does not want this to happen.
It seems as though Zuffa might have a pretty strong case here, take a look at the copywright:
ULTIMATE FIGHTING: Registration No. 2,925,669 for goods and services, namely, compact discs, laser video discs, digital video discs, digital versatile discs and CD-ROM discs, all featuring sports events and mixed martial arts; computer software for programming video games in the field of sports and entertainment; video game cartridges and discs; computer game cartridges;
He goes on later to say:
As a result of the extensive advertising and promotion of the ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP® brand, ‘ULTIMATE FIGHTING,’ either standing alone or in conjunction with the word ‘CHAMPIONSHIP,’ has become and is distinctive and famous for mixed martial arts.” “‘ULTIMATE FIGHTING’ and ‘ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP’ have acquired a special significance and meaning to the consuming public as identifying Zuffa and the UFC® as the source of origin of goods and services, and mixed martial arts in particular, which bear the ‘ULTIMATE FIGHTING’® name and mark.
It makes sense why Zuffa would be angry about the game. UFC is the biggest name in MMA around the world today, and they have trademarked the phrase “Ultimate Fighting” for their business purposes. Also, UFC Undisputed 2010 is a great game, and the last thing Zuffa needs is people assuming that the poorly developed Fighters Uncaged game is, in any way, related to the brand powerhouse that is UFC.
Are Zuffa and the UFC overreacting; though, they are seemingly completely within their rights to raise hell? I’m not sure how many people out there honestly mistake Fighters Uncaged for a UFC affiliated game.
So ranters, how do you feel about the lawsuit? Is it a necessary course of action to save the UFC’s reputation? Or, is Zuffa just taking a run at tanking the competition, albeit small competition at that?