Anticlimactic trademark dispute shows wisdom of picking your battles
developer Vlambeer has announced that it is changing the name of its upcoming Wasteland Kings
to Nuclear Throne
, following contact from Wasteland 2
developer inXile expressing concerns about trademark confusion.
"Although we aren't sure Wasteland Kings
are confusing enough for this to be an issue, both us and InXile really don’t want to spend development time on arguing over trivialities," Vlambeer's Rami Ismail wrote in the company's blog
, in explaining the name change.
Ismail noted that Vlambeer has faced IP conflicts of its own, in the form of other developers cloning its games
. Furthermore, as Ismail notes, "American trademark law is pretty strict in that not defending a trademark weakens it." Thus, in spite of a fair chance that brand confusion would not be an issue, Vlambeer saw the move as simple common sense.
"Most of all, we appreciate that the first contact between us was by a normal employee, and not a lawyer," Ismail added. "There was no extravagant Cease and Desist-letter, nor a threatening letter in an envelope labelled 'URGENT.' The e-mail we received was short, amicable and to-the-point. It was followed up by a quick conversation on Skype, in which we established that it would be the right thing for us to change the name."