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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    identicon
    Prisoner 201, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 2:20pm

    What do you call 200 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?

    A good start.

     

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    DandonTRJ (profile), Aug 1st, 2011 @ 2:21pm

    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."

     

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      PlagueSD (profile), Aug 1st, 2011 @ 3:17pm

      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!!!

       

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      G Thompson (profile), Aug 1st, 2011 @ 8:07pm

      Re:

      and all I was going to say was that instead of applying the moron in a hurry' test, the FOX attorneys were the morons in a hurry.

      Your post is better ;)

       

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    blaktron (profile), Aug 1st, 2011 @ 2:23pm

    They dont have a case at all

    http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=toc&state=4008%3A5pbch2.1.1&p_search=searchss& amp;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.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 4:02pm

      Re:

      A case? You don't need a case to win a lawsuit. All you need is deep pockets and an army of lawyers. Just appeal over and over again until either you win or the other side settles.

       

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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Aug 1st, 2011 @ 2:23pm

    Let's Die.

    I like that motto. I think more giant media companies need to adopt it.

     

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    sheenyglass (profile), Aug 1st, 2011 @ 2:28pm

    In related news..

    ...20th Century Fox is being sued by Time and Evolution for infringing on their Century and Fox trademarks, respectively.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 2:32pm

    Fox should sue Wizards of the Coast for their "Ice Age" expansion to Magic the Gathering. If Fox's "Ice Age" trademark applies to dice games, I don't see why it wouldn't apply to card games as well.

     

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      rangda (profile), Aug 1st, 2011 @ 3:00pm

      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.

       

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    Prashanth (profile), Aug 1st, 2011 @ 2:47pm

    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).

     

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    BongoBern (profile), Aug 1st, 2011 @ 3:20pm

    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!

     

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    Richard (profile), Aug 1st, 2011 @ 3:57pm

    ICE should be worried

    that Fox will sue them next..

    Maybe they'll have to seize themselves..

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 4:14pm

    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.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 4:24pm

    So...do we have to change the name of the actual ice age now? Maybe the 'glacial era' or something. Quick, somebody check to see if glacial era is taken.

     

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    trish, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 5:00pm

    ice age

    I think the Earth should sue 20th Century Fox. This "Ice Age" movie blatantly rips off Earth's Intellectual property.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 5:09pm

    The only "moron in a hurry" that seems to be confused is 20th Century Fox.

     

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    Atkray (profile), Aug 1st, 2011 @ 5:52pm

    As punishment for this bone head move (no offense to boneheads) Fox should lose all rights to anything they have with the words Ice or Age in it. Put it all in the public domain.

    You bring a ridiculous lawsuit you lose the rights to the property.

     

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    gorehound (profile), Aug 1st, 2011 @ 6:25pm

    They should throw this out of court and also hold FOX in contempt for the waste of the courts time.
    fine them big !!!!

    ASSHOLES

     

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    md1500 (profile), Aug 1st, 2011 @ 6:33pm

    A dicey situation.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 7:54pm

    Dear Movie Industry, thank you for giving me another reason to dislike you, and insure I never go to a theater again and that all movies I watch are either pre-owned or on Netflix.

     

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    disfit (profile), Aug 1st, 2011 @ 10:39pm

    Greed

    As with many or even most stories on techdirt (though the Winkelvii are a prime example) when reading this one I wish that greed would be a criminal offense. Preferred punishment? Losing everything you have (no need to enlarge the prison system).

     

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    identicon
    Web design, Aug 2nd, 2011 @ 5:43am

    20th Century Fox is right this time!
    Web design

     

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    canit (profile), Aug 2nd, 2011 @ 5:47am

    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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    Tristan Convert, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 8:53am

    Dice Age

    We held the ground and Dice Age has been fully registered as a trademark yesterday.

     

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    Agentia Web, Mar 13th, 2012 @ 7:47am

    A great chance to make a lot of money....

     

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