Sony has scored a rather interesting—and slightly bizarre—trademark victory in the UK. In 2018, Beijing Elex Technology, a mobile game developer behind games such as Clash of Kings, filed an application to trademark the name “Lord of War.” Later that year, Sony filed a counterclaim, saying that “Lord of War” was too similar to its God of War series and the trademark that had already been approved since 2006. The UK Intellectual Property Office chose to side with Sony, awarding £1,800 and denying Beijing Elex Technology the “Lord of War” trademark.
Sony had several arguments as to why it fought the trademark, the biggest being concern over people confusing it with God of War. Sony noted that both titles have “the same literal meaning,” and was worried that people would believe the game was connected to Sony in some way. Their most damning comment, however, was that “Lord of War” would “ride the coat-tails of the opponent’s power of attraction, reputation and prestige to exploit, without any effort of its own, the marketing efforts of the opponent to create and maintain the image of the earlier mark.” Basically, that utilizing Lord of War wouldn’t succeed on its own merits, but on those of God of War, subsequently diluting the perception of God of War with what amounts to a knock-off. They do say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all.
Trademark news has been happening quite a bit lately. Last year there was quite an uproar when it appeared that EA had chosen to abandon the Skate trademark. Thankfully, fans of the series and Skate 4 hopefuls got to breathe a collective sigh of relief when this ended up just being an error on the reporter’s side. More recently, Capcom filed a trademark for Dino Crisis, leaving many hopeful that it will be bringing back another of their classic series, especially after the success of the Resident Evil 2 remake. In a kind of hilarious, but totally expected move, Sony also trademarked PlayStation 6 through 10 in Japan.
[Source: World Intellectual Property Review]