Assassins’ Greed

Timing is one of the most difficult issues in trademark protection. You can of course immediately try to register the trademark for many products and services. The truth is that many companies have tight budgets and have to choose what to do and what not. Especially in the event a trademark is not well established you have to wait whether the trademark becomes a success.

Many companies choose to proceed on a step by step basis. First the main products and then, when the trademark becomes a success, a new application for more products. Or for new countries. However, it could be that meanwhile there are new trademarks in the register that block the new applications. This happened with Assassin’s Creed, the popular game of Ubisoft.

Ubisoft filed the trademark in the European Union for food products but faces an older German brand ASSASSIN for similar products. The EUIPO finds the most products similar as well as the trademarks. It comes to the conclusion that there is a risk of confusion. EUIPO does however consider Ubisoft’s arguments. This company had put forward that Assassin’s Creed is a family of brand and is also very well known.

The EUIPO states that this may be the case, but that the system of trademark law is based on first-come, first-served basis. This would have been different if someone had filed a trademark in bad faith, but that is not the case here. And so Ubisoft has to come up with a plan B for the intended product line.

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Arnaud Bos

“Trademark protection gives freedom to do business.”



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