I am working with some friends on a video game titled "Black Flag Online"
The game is set during the Piracy era, allowing players to simple play as pirates.
The question has come up, will there be a issue with a company named Ubisoft, since they have a game called "ASSASSINS CREED: BLACK FLAG"
Their game is also set during the Piracy era, but follows the story of one man, and his association with a group called "The Assassins".
Are we ok to use the name "Black Flag Online"? Could Ubisoft sue?
1 Answer from Attorneys
No one here can offer a specific legal conclusion about your trademark. That is not how this works. You may be able to use that mark, but you may also want to choose against that just to make certain you do not open the door for a problem later. I suspect that they might take issue even if the USPTO allows the mark.
Whenever you endeavor into investing in a trademark it is very important that you conduct the proper clearance due diligence upfront and before you submit an application to the USPTO. In the US, this means searching under both federal (USPTO) as well as common law because trademark rights stem from use in this country NOT registration. This means that acquiring a federal registration does not necessarily mean that you are not infringing on another's intellectual property. See the link below for a detailed explanation of the due diligence process and a guide on how to choose a strong trademark.
If you would like to discuss further over a free phone consult, feel free to contact me anytime that is convenient.
DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed on the basis of this posting.