20th Century Fox Claims 'Dice Age' Game Sounds Too Much Like Ice Age Movie

from the morons-in-a-hurry-with-dice dept

David Schumm points us to the news that the makers Dice Age, a strategy game involving some very funky and different dice, which was successfully funded via Kickstarter, has run into a bit of a stumbling block in trying to trademark its name. Apparently, the lawyers at 20th Century Fox have decided that Dice Age sounds too much like Ice Age, a movie put out by 20th Century Fox… or a “a generic geological period of long-term reduction in the temperature of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere, resulting in the presence or expansion of continental ice sheets.” In other words, its a generic term. More importantly, it seems pretty damn clear from the video of the game Dice Age that it has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the movie Ice Age (or, for that matter, the geological period, ice age):

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Comments on “20th Century Fox Claims 'Dice Age' Game Sounds Too Much Like Ice Age Movie”

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28 Comments
PlagueSD says:

Re: Re:

Ah yes, I see Fox is applying the standard trademark test of “moron in a hurry to buy nonexistent offshoot merchandise from non-traditional retail outlets while saddled with the cognitive inability to discern the first letter in a brand name or anything other than what’s left of said brand name.”

Was going to say something sarcastic, but after reading this, it’s no contest.

Nicely put!!!

blaktron (profile) says:

They dont have a case at all

http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=toc&state=4008%3A5pbch2.1.1&p_search=searchss&p_L=50&BackReference=&p_plural=yes&p_s_PARA1=&p_tagrepl~%3A=PARA1%24LD&expr=PARA1+AND+PARA2&p_s_PARA2=ice+age&p_tagrepl~%3A=PARA2%24COMB&p_op_ALL=AND&a_default=search&a_search=Submit+Query&a_search=Submit+Query

There are at least 3 other companies with a Trademark on ‘Ice Age’ and as far as I know none of the trademarks mention dice at all, although they literally mention everything else.

rangda (profile) says:

Re: Re:

They’d have a little problem with that. Ice Age the Magic expansion came out in 1995, Ice Age the movie came out in 2002. Wizards of the Coast is also owned by Hasbro, who unlike the maker of this dice game, has a nuclear stockpile of lawyers and would fire back.

Just yet another case of a big company using the law as a club against a small company that cannot fight back.

Prashanth (profile) says:

1. I think the judge should throw out this case because anyway, the term “ice age” was in common currency long before the movie Ice Age came out, so 20th Century Fox has no more rights to that term than this game company does (and moreover, this game company is being creative with the rhyming, whereas 20th Century Fox just used the original term, unaltered). I mean, what’s next, trademarking the name “Madagascar” and suing the inhabitants of that nation?
2. There is still hope, because once, LexisNexis tried to get an injunction against Toyota over the use of the name “Lexus” when Lexus was first introduced; an appeals court ruled against LexisNexis (which should be obvious considering Lexus still exists today).

BongoBern (profile) says:

Dice Age?

Does not remotely sound like – well it “sounds” like “Ice Age” but not exactly. The “D” would indicate that it’s not about mammoths and sabre-tooth tigers, and more about spotted cubes. I’m not sure how cold dice can get, though Lady Luck can freeze you out. Still, we’ve never found any frozen gamblers from the “ice” age. Unless you count the hunters who went after mammoths and tigers with stone tipped sticks!

Anonymous Coward says:

The subject of IP litigation increases in its stupidity each year. (If only 20th Century Fox had filed suit against Al Qaeda for the 9/11/01 destruction of the Twin Towers, perhaps the nation might have avoided the tragic consequences of Mr. Bush’s ill-advised gambit in Afghanistan and Iraq?) This case has the stink of a preemptive suit, promulgated to prevent the game Dice Age from potentially cashing in on the lucrative cartoon franchise, without the gamemaker’s showing any intent to infringe. A 6 year-old could possibly confuse the two terms and badger his mother to buy Dice Age instead of purchasing officially licensed Ice Age merchandise. To paraphrase another MGM hit from the Golden Age of film, “Frankly my dear, the court won’t give a damn.” I suppose a 1st year associate might argue that MGM induced infringement by choosing a name for its frozen franchise similar to that of a published game? I hope the makers of Dice Age file a counter-suit in the East Texas Circuit, where a judge would see fit to sock-it-to-MGM with costs plus for filing such a frivolous suit.

canit (profile) says:

DICE AGE.... Amazing!

20th Century Coxs is part and parcel of what’s wrong here in the U.Sue of A… makeup your own word here.
Big companies with lots of money and nerve go after small upstart companies like this gentleman’s, solely on sound alike verbiage… that they them selves “steal” or is that “borrow” every-time they make a product.
Whether its a city back ground and its citizens that never get any part of the box office proceeds or the use of a name like the term “Ice Age” that existed decades before their product ever existed. Using items like guns and airplanes in their movies where the inventors are never compensated. or the worse of the worse, the hapless writer who’s script is stolen, who who was under payed for his property….. go figure! It’s a no brainer.

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