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Possible trademark issues?/ Lionhead's "Fable"

posted by RAnthonyMahan on - last edited - Viewed by 2K users

This is kind of stupid, but I thought I should bring it up.

As you probably already know, Lionhead Studios has a series of RPGs called Fable (singular). I realize Fables the comic predates Fable the game (and it's not like either of them created the word itself), but Telltale's still going to be releasing a game that's just one letter away from the title of an established game series.

There aren't any potential issues because of that, would there be?

21 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • I am not qualified to answer this but I'm going to be doing my best too. No there shouldn't be because Fables has a source material that is already copyrighted and telltale has a license for it.

  • However, I remember reading that the makers of the Elder Scrolls games were suing a company who was making a game called Scrolls... no idea if they'll be successful, but I can see where there could be a bit of confusion.

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    puzzlebox Telltale Staff

    Fun fact, Fable was an oldschool point-and-click adventure game 8 years before the unrelated Lionhead RPGs.

    IyMfH.jpg

  • @Molokov said: However, I remember reading that the makers of the Elder Scrolls games were suing a company who was making a game called Scrolls... no idea if they'll be successful, but I can see where there could be a bit of confusion.

    That's what the common belief is but rather than Bethesda being evil they were responding to the maker of Scrolls (which isn't even out yet) trying to trademark the word 'Scrolls' (used by Bethesda since 1994). Most people assume the indie maker was being bullied by a large developer but how the heck the Scrolls developer (Notch) thought it was good idea to try to trademark Scrolls I'll never know. Unless it was a publicity stunt "Buy our game and stick it to the man!". :confused:

  • @Psymantiss said: That's what the common belief is but rather than Bethesda being evil they were responding to the maker of Scrolls (which isn't even out yet) trying to trademark the word 'Scrolls' (used by Bethesda since 1994). Most people assume the indie maker was being bullied by a large developer but how the heck the Scrolls developer (Notch) thought it was good idea to try to trademark Scrolls I'll never know. Unless it was a publicity stunt "Buy our game and stick it to the man!". :confused:

    Sorry, but you're mistaken. Notch offered to give up his Scrolls trademark, and Bethesda did not agree to that solution. Thus it doesn't really fly that they just wanted him to not have that trademark, because if that's really what they wanted, they could have had that. Instead, they said no and are still suing. The "Bethesda's legal department are being dicks" theory looks a lot more likely by comparison.

    SOURCE: http://notch.tumblr.com/post/10990169550/a-short-response

  • Shouldn't be the other way around and Fable should be suing Lionhead?

  • You cannot trademark a common word. With reference to game development i think there is only some slight legitimacy behind a lawsuit if a succeeding IP too closely overlaps with a preceding one in the same field.

  • It's going to be an interesting case if they decide to call it Fables. Fables the comic predates the Fable game, or at least it predates the Fable game being called Fable. I don't think Peter Molyneux cares, but Microsoft is probably going to throw a fit on his behalf.

  • Legally speaking, the titles have to be at LEAST two letters apart.
    Besides, if Telltale names it: "Fables: The Game", they're good to go.

    The fact that Fables the comic series appeared before Fable doesn't matter, since the entertainment fields are different.

    Fun fact: I have a 5 year old secret project. I got an international trademark on its name, in various fields. Because of that, a foreign game had to change its name when it was localized in Europe some years ago. ^^

    I would love to talk about this project, but I want to film it first. Unfortunately, I lack the funds to do so. It was estimated at over 1 million dollars by two different professionals, so I needed to find a smart way of reducing that price. Which I did. I'm just looking for actors now. :D

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    Vainamoinen Moderator

    The original Fable game from Lionhead had the greatest "storybook" website ever. But I can't even find it now... it's probably dead and never to be seen again.

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