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Stardock sued for trademark infringement

Stardock sued for trademark infringement

August 16, 2012 | By Tom Curtis

August 16, 2012 | By Tom Curtis
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

NeverDead and Sniper Elite developer Rebellion has filed a lawsuit against Stardock Entertainment and Ironclad Games, as it takes issue with the title of the companies' recently released Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion.

In a claim filed in June, the UK-based Rebellion alleged that the subtitle on the new Sins of a Solar Empire expansion violates its studio trademark, and could lead the public to believe that Rebellion and this new game are somehow related.

Rebellion specifically called out a number of promotional materials, reviews, and videos that refer to the new Sins of a Solar Empire game as "Rebellion." The studio worries that this naming convention is further confusing both the public and the press, and notes that the whole ordeal creates "unfair competition" between Rebellion and the game's developers.

In addition, Rebellion claims that it sent a cease and desist letter to Ironclad Games in April, though it says the studio refused to change the game's title. Gamasutra has reached out to Rebellion, but has yet to hear back as of press time. Stardock and Ironclad, meanwhile, both declined to comment.

As it turns out, Stardock entered another legal battle earlier this week, when it sued a former employee who allegedly destroyed marketing materials and impaired the launch of Elemental: War of Magic.

This Rebellion case, on the other hand, is somewhat similar to the suit Besthesda filed against Minecraft developer Mojang in 2011. Bethesda claimed that Mojang's upcoming Scrolls infringed on a trademark and could cause confusion with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. After a few months of legal tension, the companies reached a settlement in March.

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