UN Tells Online Game It Can't Have A Fake United Nations

from the even-if-it-does-good-work? dept

Ed Powell writes "On April 1, the online game NationStates, in which players create their own simulated nations, changed the name of its United Nations feature to World Assembly. It claimed that "The (real) United Nations has demanded NationStates 'immediately cease and desist from using the United Nations name and emblem,' as it 'is unauthorized and in violation of the provisions of international and U.S. laws.'" Having seen the previous April Fools' gags the site had pulled, I assumed it was a joke. But, time passes, I return to the site to find that it was not a joke. The UN did send an email to creator Max Barry, demanding that he cease and desist. Of course, it's no wonder the UN wanted to shut the operation down. The NationStates UN passed over 240 resolutions, promoting peace, tolerance, and equality throughout the (simulated) world. Why would the UN want to be associated with that?"

Why indeed? This is pretty strange, as NationStates has been around for many years (I remember seeing it early on and had forgotten that it still existed). Also, calling out the trusty moron in a hurry trademark test, it seems unlikely that anyone would believe that the real United Nations was being represented in an online game. Of course, a few years ago, we wrote about the UN (the real one) getting into the video game business, so perhaps it felt NationStates was a threat.

Filed Under: online games, trademark, united nations


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  1. identicon
    ATA, 10 Apr 2008 @ 12:12pm

    Uh oh... here come the Smurfs!!!!!

    Great. It seems like the only effective thing the UN can do is protect its own trademark from a group that's actually doing something positive with it.

    Reading this reminds me to watch "No Man's Land" again...

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