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Report: New  Mechwarrior  Game Sees Trademark Dispute

Report: New Mechwarrior Game Sees Trademark Dispute

September 4, 2009 | By Kris Graft

September 4, 2009 | By Kris Graft
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Harmony Gold, the U.S. rights holder to the Robotech anime TV series, is claiming that recently-revealed footage of a new Mechwarrior game contains content in violation of a settlement reached in the 1990s.

Harmony Gold issued a cease and desist order to consumer gaming website IGN, the website reported, claiming that a trailer of Piranha Games' upcoming Mechwarrior game featured trademarked robotic vehicle designs that are the property of Harmony Gold. The company ordered that the trailer be removed from the website.

In July, Smith and Tinker, the company that's licensing Mechwarrior rights from Microsoft, announced that Piranha would be developing a new Mechwarrior game based on the Unreal Engine 3. The game would essentially be a reboot of the venerated robot-battling series, which last saw a game in 2000.

While Smith and Tinker's Mechwarrior and Harmony Gold's Robotech are not one in the same, the two share a history. Battletech, the board game that was the basis for Mechwarrior, used action figure designs that were derived directly from Harmony Gold's Robotech. In the mid-nineties, Harmony Gold claimed that then-Battletech owner FASA was infringing on its copyright. A judge agreed, and prohibited the Battletech series from using those designs.

Harmony Gold's cease and desist would indicate that it believes that the footage of Mechwarrior shows restricted mech designs. Smith and Tinker offered no comment to IGN.


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