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Elestan
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Atari Bankrupt
« on: January 21, 2013, 07:10:49 pm »

See http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-atari-bankruptcy-20130119,0,25279.story.

IIRC, they still technically own the SC2 trademark (though it has likely lapsed due to non-use, if anyone were to contest it).  I wonder what will happen to it now.

Edit:  Looks like this is a Chapter 11, not a Chapter 7 (at least not yet).  So they'll keep it for now.
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Anthony
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Re: Atari Bankrupt
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2013, 07:38:55 pm »

Ever since the release of Jenga World Tour for the Wii/DS, people have suspected Atari's financial difficulties.

Yes, they still own the Star Control trademark.  Although, when Star Control 1 & 2 was released on GOG, Atari still owned the trademark.  Does that count as a "use"?

THQ filed for bankruptcy too.  The video game politics can be mind boggling at times.

If they're willing to sell the rights of Pong and Missile Command, I'm sure they'd be willing to sell the Star Control trademark.  It's really up to them and whether or not they can negotiate a fair price.  It would be really awesome of TFB could get it.  They'd finally be able to make a proper Star Control game and use the name.  The next challenge would be to convince Activision to publish it.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2013, 09:21:52 pm by Anthony » Logged

Elestan
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Re: Atari Bankrupt
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2013, 07:55:15 pm »

when Star Control 1 & 2 was released on GOG, Atari still owned the trademark.  Does that count as a "use"?

Probably.  The question would be whether a company can reactivate a lapsed trademark just by starting to use it again.

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If they're willing to see the rights of Pong and Missile Command, I'm sure they'd be willing to sell the Star Control trademark.  It's really up to them and whether or not they can negotiate a fair price.  It would be really awesome of TFB could get it.  They'd finally be able to make a proper Star Control game and use the name.  The next challenge would be to convince Activision to publish it.

The biggest problem is likely to be that the purchase price for the trademark would be less than the legal fees required to process the sale.
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Steve-O
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Re: Atari Bankrupt
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2013, 05:00:25 am »

IIRC, they still technically own the SC2 trademark (though it has likely lapsed due to non-use, if anyone were to contest it).  I wonder what will happen to it now.

I seem to recall reading something about a half-assed, bullshit Star Control game they were working on a couple of years ago.  It got "put on the back burner" pretty quickly, and was obviously just some bureaucratic mind game to claim they were still "actively using" the trademark.

Of course, these are also the people who bought up the Atari name in some pathetically transparent effort to make people pay attention to them without actually doing anything worth noticing. What a surprise, they're going under. =P
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Elestan
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Re: Atari Bankrupt
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2013, 06:27:56 am »

I seem to recall reading something about a half-assed, bullshit Star Control game they were working on a couple of years ago.  It got "put on the back burner" pretty quickly, and was obviously just some bureaucratic mind game to claim they were still "actively using" the trademark.

Yeah, I remember that thread (/index.php?topic=4044), and actually did some research on trademark law when it happened.  From what I can tell, that flash game probably wouldn't have held up as proof of use if anyone were to have challenged the trademark; it would have been a fairly clear case of "token use" (search "trademark" "token use" for details).

Until they put the game on GoG, I would have been willing to bet money that someone could have successfully re-registered "Star Control" and taken the trademark away from them; it only takes three years of non-use before the burden of proof reverses, so they'd have had to prove they were still using it instead of the other way around.  I don't know whether resuming use of the mark after the three years is up serves to "cure" the abandonment; that'd be a question for an IP lawyer.  But I suspect that it would at least be quite expensive to try to test the question in court.

Of course, if the Chapter 11 bankruptcy fails and converts to a Chapter 7, then all their assets go up for auction...
« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 06:43:51 am by Elestan » Logged
meep-eep
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Re: Atari Bankrupt
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2013, 01:22:26 pm »

I wonder whether GoG has actually gotten permission from Atari to use the trademark. After all, they originally did not even ask TFB for permission, IIRC. (But maybe that was because they thought they got everything they needed from Atari.)
Without permission, there is still no "use" by Atari.

And if Atari does go belly-up, the trademark would be a nice anniversary present to TFB. With a caution to not let it lapse, of course. Tongue
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Elestan
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Re: Atari Bankrupt
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2013, 06:24:15 pm »

I wonder whether GoG has actually gotten permission from Atari to use the trademark. After all, they originally did not even ask TFB for permission, IIRC. (But maybe that was because they thought they got everything they needed from Atari.)
Without permission, there is still no "use" by Atari.
Unfortunately, there's no easy way to test this without a lot of expensive lawyer time.  Pre-GoG, it looked pretty cut and dry, and could probably have been decided out of court by the patent office alone.

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And if Atari does go belly-up, the trademark would be a nice anniversary present to TFB. With a caution to not let it lapse, of course. Tongue
Good idea, but I'd make it a present to FF/PR personally, since they sold TFB to Activision.
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meep-eep
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Re: Atari Bankrupt
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2013, 06:39:07 pm »

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And if Atari does go belly-up, the trademark would be a nice anniversary present to TFB. With a caution to not let it lapse, of course. Tongue
Good idea, but I'd make it a present to FF/PR personally, since they sold TFB to Activision.
Yeah, that's what I meant.
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