Blizzard’s new intellectual property , a team based FPS known as Overwatch might not be known as that for much longer. Blizzard ran into a legal issue as it turns out there was another company that trademarked Overwatch already. A paintball mobile application, created by a small team of individuals and backed Cybergun which is an download for your mobile device that can be attached to your paintball gun to give you a heads-up display similar to playing a FPS. You can check that out here.
While looking at the suspension document it does not appear to be directly Blizzard’s fault. The filing attorney who worked on their trademark made an error. The law is the law however, and Overwatch got a suspension notice on January 9th that, “the trademark examining attorney noted a prior pending application that, if it matured to registration, may result in the refusal of applicant’s mark under Trademark Act Section 2(d) because of a likelihood of confusion between the two marks.” The issue comes from the said attorney, that according to the suspension notice they were given an ‘Office Action’ — which in layman’s speak means a temporary rejection with a chance to change the offending issue– back in July, when the attorney should have given them a suspension at the time due to another trademark pending.
While Blizzard has already done a small amount to attempt to fix this issue immediately, getting an amendment to the suspension notice stating that Overwatch is part of the entertainment service, namely providing on-line games instead of the Goods and Services including game discs, downloads and software that it was previously labelled as. It does not look like the suspension will end soon despite their efforts.
Blizzard’s Overwatch is considered suspended by US law until the current trademark owner of Overwatch either abandons the name or gives them the trademark. Blizzard still has a variety of options in this situation, depending on if they want to throw money at the developers of the paintball app until they give them the name, or the more simpler solution of changing the name of their newest team based FPS IP. While we likely won’t know how they respond for quite some time, we can certainly hope that no one was very attached to the name.More About This Game