The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum

The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release => General UQM Discussion => Topic started by: Jeff on April 17, 2005, 05:13:34 pm



Title: 'Star Control' trademark, abandoned?
Post by: Jeff on April 17, 2005, 05:13:34 pm
Under U.S. Trademark law, and probably other jurisdictions as well, a trademark is considered abandoned after 3 consecutive years of total non-use.  Considering the property of the trademark has changed hands so much, and the name will likely not be seen on any new game-related commercial enterprise ever again, I believe this is a pretty clear cut case of abandonment.

It would be great to see this game have its original title back.

For reference, the trademark is U.S. serial number 75095591 and can be looked up on www.uspto.gov by using the "Search" link under Trademarks on the left.  According to the record, Infrogrames filed affidavits in 2003 swearing the mark was still in use.  Infrogrames is now Atari, and they have not used any Star Control mark for a very long time, if ever (Accolade was going to publish StarCon aka Star Control 4).


Title: Re: 'Star Control' trademark, abandoned?
Post by: Halleck on April 17, 2005, 09:48:51 pm
Interesting... the status page (http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=75095591) shows that the affidavits were acknowledged on  2003/06/23, meaning that (according to you) the trademark will expire on June 23, 2006. However, I notice they refer to the filing as "Section 8 (6-year)". Wouldn't that indicate that the trademark is good until 2009?


Title: Re: 'Star Control' trademark, abandoned?
Post by: Jeff on April 18, 2005, 09:30:10 am
What I'm saying is, the affidavit seems bunk.  I don't think Infrogrames (now Atari) ever had any commercial enterprise involving the Star Control name.

As for the expiration, I don't know enough about trademark law to know what the 6-year part means, but the law is 3 years of non-use.  Considering Accolade/Infrogrames/Atari has not even uttered the words "Star Control" for years (since StarCon?), I believe the trademark could be considered abandoned.


Title: Re: 'Star Control' trademark, abandoned?
Post by: Halleck on April 18, 2005, 10:42:59 am
If the affidavit was acknowledged on june 23, 2003, That's probably an indication that the government recognizes it as "in use", or at least it did as of 2003 (and for six more years past then, presumably).

It's a nice idea, but I don't think we could start using the trademark now without risking some nasty legal entanglements. Who knows, though. Atari may neglect filing again in 2009.


Title: Re: 'Star Control' trademark, abandoned?
Post by: Culture20 on April 18, 2005, 10:48:11 am
Would that this were true; I'm not a lawyer, but as far as I know, the company needs only to state somewhere in a document that "X is an official trademark of Y" for it to be considered used.  Too bad no one here though to check into this before 2003; there was a window of perhaps a year from 2002 to 2003 (1998/1999 being the last time that Acolade might have legitamately said to have been using "Star Control" although they were really using StarCon)

StarCon seems abandoned:
http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=75448640 (http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=75448640)
http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=75448641 (http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=75448641)

All the live versions of StarCon have nothing to do with computer games.

I was going to send the above info to TFB first, but they've commited a website cardinal sin:  Their page is flash only, so I don't know their email addresses since I do not have flash support for my OS.  If this ends up costing them a trademark they sought after, hopefully they'll learn from their mistake; use html for webpages, not sucrose.

Edit: corrected the links & sent an email off to TFB; thanks halleck & megagun!


Title: Re: 'Star Control' trademark, abandoned?
Post by: Halleck on April 18, 2005, 11:56:28 am
FYI, The email adress listed on the TFB contact page is alexness@toysforbob.com .


Title: Re: 'Star Control' trademark, abandoned?
Post by: Megagun on April 18, 2005, 03:57:46 pm
"Search expired!"
hrm.

http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=mbmv0j.2.4
http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=mbmv0j.2.5

That should work...


Title: Re: 'Star Control' trademark, abandoned?
Post by: Culture20 on April 19, 2005, 06:19:00 am
corrected above