In the video game world, we aren?t lacking of disputes, both inside the game, and outside in the legal room. Yet another trademark dispute is being waged in the courtroom, and this time, it?s because of one word: ?Rebellion?.
Rebellion is? a word that is found attached to the name of the latest in the Sins of a Solar Empire series. It is set to be released by Kalypso Media as a package along with DLCs like Forbidden World and the Sins: Rebellion standalone expansion. This July, it is set to be released in European countries Europe, France, Italy Spain, Greece, and Portugal, as well as South Africa, the Middle East, and in Asia. It is being developed by Ironclad games.
The trouble stems from the UK release. UK is also where Sniper Elite is being developed by Rebellion, and by that alone, you know there?s going to be trouble. The dispute stems back all the way to 2012, when Ironclad had a cease-and-desist order sent to them by Rebellion games. They speculated that the reason for attaching the ?Rebellion? name to Sins of a Solar Empire is to confuse buyers into thinking that Rebellion games was tied-in to the development of the game, thus generating sales among even Rebellion?s patrons.
Furthermore, in taking the Rebellion name, Sins of a Solar Empire?s game developer was alleged to be riding on the coattails of the fame enjoyed by Rebellion games, and in doing so, stands to damage the good standing and reputation set by Rebellion games, the order further reiterated.
Suffice to say that they never reached ?a term of agreement regarding the use of the name. Ironclad moved to the US and successfully had the motion dismissed there. They next secured a patent for the name, and this enabled Ironclad to release Sins of a Solar Empire in the US without much fuss. The release of the game in Canada and UK, however, remains to be seen.
Ironclad director and co-owner Blair Fraser and Rebellion chief Jason Kingsley clearly laments their predicament, with the issue being brought to light by Fraser, in light of the release of Sniper Elite 3. He said that it seemed coincidental that Rebellion is bringing up the issue again just before the release of their newest game.
Trademark disputes in the gaming world is actually old news. Candy Crush Saga had the same moves being done by Rebellion, aggressively fighting to copyright the words ?saga? and ?candy? exclusively. And in 2011, the release of Skyrim was almost put into trouble because of a dispute with Minecraft over the use of the word ?Scrolls?. Things ended up a bit differently for them, and they managed to settle the dispute amicably without further aggression.
Sins of a Solar Empire?s creators lament the fact that the ?trademark law? is what it is?that companies are fighting to protect their trademarks tooth and nail?so that in the future, when a dispute arises, they can prevent the other company from citing ?they did it, so why can?t we??
Kalypso reiterated that its scheduled release of the games in the countries in question is going to push through, just as Ironclad vowed to continue fighting for the right to use the word ?Rebellion?. Kalypso also said that as long as the countries they are releasing the game in honors the right to freedom of expression, then they will not hesitate to fight for that right.