German game developer Black Forest Games has to change the name of its fantasy fighting game “DieselStormers”, after being sued by Diesel.
The trademark issue started back in 2014 when Diesel notified Black Forest Games that it was opposing the name DieselStormers, which was funded through Kickstarter and released in July 2014.
The Italian fashion label, particularly famous for its high-end denim jeans, claimed there would be “likelihood of confusion”, because Diesel’s trademark also covers non-fashion items, like video games.
Black Forest Games initially waived the complaint by stating that it had “no intent to create clothing under the Dieselstormers brand”. And that “The ‘Diesel’ part of DieselStormers refers to the liquid fuel type of the same name and is not a parody of the fashion brand.”
But the European Trademarks Office (OHIM) concluded differently. It found the goods to be identical and the two marks Diesel and DieselStormers visually, aurally and conceptually similar to the degree they contain the element ‘DIESEL’. The OHIM said consumers normally focus on the first part of the trademark. “The overall impression produced by DieselStormers may lead the public to believe that the goods at issue, derive from the same company or at the very least, from companies which are linked economically, in which case the likelihood of confusion must be held to be established”, the court ruled.
“This decision has caught us with our pants down”, BFG’s Managing Director Adrian Goersch said. “First of all, we will make sure everyone will be able to keep playing the game, then we’ll come back with a new name”, he added.