EA has failed to trademark the name of its upcoming 2D platformer, Unravel, in the U.S. because of a "likelihood of confusion" with a children's board game.
According to a thread on NeoGAF, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) refused EA's filing because Unravel - which focuses on the journey of a sentient woolen character called Yarny - is too similar to "Beary's Unravel Game", a board game produced by a company called SimplyFun.
Aimed at young children, Beary's Unravel Game - shown below - asks players to identify and trace the path from one end of a kite string to the other.
At a glance, it's difficult to see how anyone could confuse the two. Yet, according to the USPTO, that isn't the problem. The issue, it says, stems from the similarity of the names themselves.
"When comparing marks, the test is not whether the marks can be distinguished in a side-by-side comparison, but rather whether the marks are sufficiently similar in terms of their overall commercial impression," said the USPTO in a statement highlighted on NeoGAF.
"The applicant’s mark, 'UNRAVEL' is identical to the registrant’s mark, 'UNRAVEL', and will lead to consumer confusion."
Despite its failure to trademark the game in the states, EA has told news website GameWatcher that Unravel will still release as planned, and won't be subject to a name change.
"The trademark application does not impact the game title of Unravel, and we’re looking forward to the game launching on February 9," said the publisher.