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NCsoft files trademark application for superhero MMORPG it abandoned

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https://mmoculture.com/2020/01/city-of-heroes-ncsoft-files-trademark-application-for-superhero-mmorpg-it-abandoned/

 

I saw this info drop out there in the news so i figured I post it interesting none the less

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I do not know what to make of this. Curiously it was filed on my birth date 12/4. Since i am slightly weird about coincidences i want to infer something good or bad from that lol

 

my first reaction, of course it to type something very Snarky.  Or type something cryptic that infers maybe something bad will happen to them

 

but in truth i must be maturing, finally, sigh. So close to death now. I believe this is most likely a legal strategy, somehow (rightly or wrongly) believed to be very important to NCsoft. 
 

there is not enough data to determine what piece of the puzzle this is in whether it moves us closer or farther away from reaching an agreement 

 

i play CoX everyday like it will be my last. I have no idea how long we have. I thank all the Supah-geek 1337s that brought Homecoming to us regular Citizens of Atlas and the Rogue Isles and all corners of space and time

 

so, meh, who knows?  (Does somebody, really?) who cares?  I cannot let myself. And so I continue badging and building alts. See you in the Cities

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4 minutes ago, Snarky said:

I do not know what to make of this. Curiously it was filed on my birth date 12/4. Since i am slightly weird about coincidences i want to infer something good or bad from that lol

 

my first reaction, of course it to type something very Snarky.  Or type something cryptic that infers maybe something bad will happen to them

 

but in truth i must be maturing, finally, sigh. So close to death now. I believe this is most likely a legal strategy, somehow (rightly or wrongly) believed to be very important to NCsoft. 
 

there is not enough data to determine what piece of the puzzle this is in whether it moves us closer or farther away from reaching an agreement 

 

i play CoX everyday like it will be my last. I have no idea how long we have. I thank all the Supah-geek 1337s that brought Homecoming to us regular Citizens of Atlas and the Rogue Isles and all corners of space and time

 

so, meh, who knows?  (Does somebody, really?) who cares?  I cannot let myself. And so I continue badging and building alts. See you in the Cities

Once in the wild it is never totally going away. What it means I have no clue; I am just posting the information that came out. and I will continue to chug along playing my toons


FlashBack to old days: Pinnacle

Langar Thurs-Katana/SR 50; Hejtmane-DM/DA 50

Rogue Spear-Spines/DA 50; Hypnosis-Ill/Rad 50

Sir Thomas Theroux-DM/SR 50; Melted Copper-Fire/Shield 50; Byzantine Warrior-DB/ELA 50; Blade Tempo-50 DB/EA

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The initial article seems to have been written by someone who isn't aware of Homecoming, SCoRE, or this whole situation.

Little concerned it took almost a whole month for us to hear about that renewal, though.

 

Well, only one thing for it . . . 

 

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I don't think it's anything to worry about - they already own the game, we all know they own it, they don't need to do anything to shut us down other than send a C&D. It's a non-story.

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Just now, Arkasas said:

I don't think it's anything to worry about - they already own the game, we all know they own it, they don't need to do anything to shut us down other than send a C&D. It's a non-story.

This.

 

As for us just now finding out about it - not a lawyer, but I'm assuming that the negotiations have a NDA in place, so anyone involved likely wouldn't be able to post if this was an outcome related to the ongoing discussions or not, and it could go either way as to whether it's positive or negative.

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DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!!

 

Or not. 

Beats me man, beats me. 

If they were gonna shut it down, doubt we'd hear about it that way. 

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Posted (edited)

Not overly concerned but maybe enough to go ahead and get to work on my own standalone installation.

 

Edit: Course... the HC team could just alter the login screens to be City of Supers and be done with it.

Edited by Bill Z Bubba
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Harm no other and do as ye will. It ain't rocket surgery.

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Can one export his characters yet for when one will need to set up his home server?


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On further thought I hope NCSoft remembers all the hate they got last time they shut down COH. Do they understand allowing Homecoming has lessened this to some degree?

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My first thought was... Wait, they don't have an approved trademark now? 

 

I'm pretty sure there's a requirement of "actively using the name/phrase for interstate commerce" requirement to get a trademark approved.  Failing this they should have filed an "intent to use" application and should only do that if they actually intend to use it.

 

My take away is that if their application is approved, they could send a cease and desist letter for using the name.  But that would only apply to the name, wouldn't it?  Nothing a few splash screen updates can't fix.


But, I'm not a lawyer, so I'll defer to anyone who knows more I remember from my business law classes.


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Posted (edited)

Two possible scenarios spring to mind:

 

  1. NCSoft needs to secure the trademark in order to insure they can license it to others with as few legal loopholes as possible.
  2. NCSoft wants to secure the trademark in order to strengthen their position against claims by others that they've abandoned it.

The first one might be good news for Homecoming, because it means they're moving towards a legal agreement that benefits both parties.

 

The second one might be bad news for Homecoming (and everyone else), because it means they're moving towards legal action against anyone infringing on their trademark (assuming they get one).

 

(edit) Their lack of trademark might explain why they haven't yet taken any action on the rogue servers (including Homecoming).

 

Edited by Rathulfr
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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Rathulfr said:

Two possible scenarios spring to mind:

  1. NCSoft needs to secure the trademark in order to insure they can license it to others with as few legal loopholes as possible.
  2. NCSoft wants to secure the trademark in order to strengthen their position against claims by others that they've abandoned it.

The first one might be good news for Homecoming, because it means they're moving towards a legal agreement that benefits both parties.

 

The second one might be bad news for Homecoming (and everyone else), because it means they're moving towards legal action against anyone infringing on their trademark (assuming they get one).

 

Yeah, that was what I was thinking also when I said it could go either way. But, as mentioned before, they could've shut things down long before now without filing anything more than a C&D, so I'm leaning towards cautiously optimistic.

Edited by siolfir
more words!

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BTW: it should be noted that they filed an application for trademark -- which can be contested.  NCSoft isn't guaranteed that their application will be approved, especially not if there's a contender willing to dispute it.  Whether or not someone has the time, money, and energy to fight over the trademark is unknown at this point.


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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Rathulfr said:

NCSoft wants to secure the trademark in order to strengthen their position against claims by others that they've abandoned it.

It's also the one I'd absolutely expect.  This sounds like the sort of behavior we should have come to expect from them.

Edited by Lazarillo
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Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, Lazarillo said:

It's also the one I'd absolutely expect.  This sounds like the sort of behavior we should have come to expect from them.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing, though.  If NCSoft has rock-solid control over the "brand" of City Of Heroes, then they also have control over how that brand might be licensed to approved vendors, which might include Homecoming. 

 

It would be awful if NCSoft and Homecoming spent all that effort on hammering out a licensing agreement, only for some other media conglomerate to come along with their own trademark claim to a "City of Heroes" brand.

 

For example, hypothetically speaking, Disney could open a Marvel theme park and call it "City of Heroes", with their own trademark.  That would put both NCSoft and Homecoming in a very difficult legal position.  I doubt NCSoft is powerful enough to challenge Disney to a trademark battle after the fact, so it makes sense for them to secure that trademark a.s.a.p., before Disney (or anyone else) can snap it up.  Like everyone else, I was honestly surprised they didn't already have it.

 

Edited by Rathulfr
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37 minutes ago, Lazarillo said:

It's also the one I'd absolutely expect.  This sounds like the sort of behavior we should have come to expect from them.

Yes, while Rathulfr's posts are completely correct, it really falls under a culture/emotion vs. reason/rationality/logic sort of question.  And as that quote goes, "Where logic and reason go up against emotion, I always bet on raw emotion!"  (by David Weber - I probably paraphrased it rather than got it exactly correct)

Both by corporate culture and traditional culture of the country/region, NCSoft is VERY much "@#~& you all to Hell! I will spend my last drop of blood... sacrifice my last child! ...to hurt you for this imagined slight!" personality type.

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2 minutes ago, Rathulfr said:

This isn't necessarily a bad thing, though.  If NCSoft has rock-solid control over the "brand" of City Of Heroes, then they also have control over how that brand might be licensed to approved vendors, which might include Homecoming. 

 

It would be awful if NCSoft and Homecoming spent all that effort on hammering out a licensing agreement, only for some other media conglomerate to come along with their own trademark claim to a "City of Heroes" brand.

 

For example, hypothetically speaking, Disney could open a Marvel theme park and call it "City of Heroes", with their own trademark.  That would put both NCSoft and Homecoming in a very difficult legal position.  I doubt NCSoft is powerful enough to challenge Disney to a trademark battle after the fact, so it makes sense for them to secure that trademark a.s.a.p., before Disney (or anyone else) can snap it up.  Like everyone else, I was honestly surprised they didn't already have it.

 

Ouch - great example!

But let's face it - NCSoft is not rich or powerful enough to challenge Disney even WITH an approved trademark 😉 !! 

Disney would just offer them a pittance for 'rights' (which they would be smart to take) or would just by the company out from under them (hostile takeover) and take it anyway rather than change the sign over the park entrance!

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https://www.mmogames.com/gamenews/ncsoft-filed-trademark-application-city-heroes-west/

 

We may need to start preparing to relocate and prepare alternate communication channels. Just saying.

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Could it have something to do with the negotiations?  No one would of course confirm this...parties involved having lips zipped and all. 

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9 minutes ago, tafilr said:

Could it have something to do with the negotiations?  No one would of course confirm this...parties involved having lips zipped and all. 

Thats my read on it, NC-Soft ensuring their position for issuing a license, they need to make sure their ownership of the IP is unassailable before granting licenses


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I'm not sure of the impact or significance, since so much of Canada and the u.s. are overly linked as it is . . . but the trademark was specifically for the u.s., and the servers are run out of Canada (Quebec, even, which is notorious for operating on its own set of laws in a lot of situations).  Just one more little aspect of this whole thing to bear in mind.

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