Late last year Blizzard took some time at their annual Blizzcon event to announce a whole new IP in the form of Overwatch, which is set to be a multiplayer shooter that draws on the various fantasy worlds that the game publisher is known for. But it seems that they might have hit a snag.
Not a major one in terms of development but a snag nonetheless.
Some of the folks over at NeoGAF located some documents which states that the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) has suspended the company’s application for a trademark on the Overwatch name. The reason given for this was a possible conflict with another application, by a company called Innovis Labs.
Innovis was also in the process to trying to claim the trademark, for an app designed “…to enhance airsoft, paintball and first-person shooter gameplay events”. Unfortunately for both parties, using the Overwatch name could cause confusion since multiplayer shooters are quite similar, whether you’re controlling a digital avatar or roaming around with a paintball gun. Broadly similar, anyway.
The end result is that both Blizzard and Innovis’ trademark applications have been suspended. One or the other will have to change their name at the end of the day. Time will tell which company will have to re-brand.