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Rebellion sues Stardock and Ironclad over Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion

by Alice O'Connor, Aug 17, 2012 10:00am PDT

Sniper Elite V2 and Alien versus Predator maker Rebellion Developments is engaged in a little legal scrap with Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion developer Ironclad Games and its publisher Stardock over the space 'em up's name. The problem, Rebellion says in documents recently dug up, is that people might mistakenly think it's behind the game.

Rebellion's argument in the complaint (via GameSpot) is slightly more nuanced than 'they use the same word,' but only slightly. The SoaSE: Rebellion logo on its box art has the "Rebellion" text far larger than the rest, while Rebellion's boxes always also, surprise surprise, say that in big letters. It also takes issue with the two often referring to the game as simply "Rebellion," such as on the SoaSE website.

Rolling out the big guns of truth, it quotes a few reviewers who have also called the expandalone simply "Rebellion" and, most damning of all, quotes a YouTube description for a Rebellion video (now I'm doing it too...) as saying "The developers over at 'Rebellion' talk to us about what to expect from their newest game."

The kicker is that Rebellion the studio says Ironclad and Stardock are purposely trying to make people think Rebellion the game is associated with Rebellion the studio, which will harm Rebellion the studio. Which is a little ironic, considering Rebellion the game is rather jolly nice while Rebellion the studio has a long string of stinkers to its name in recent years, including Rogue Warrior and NeverDead.

In April, Rebellion the studio sent a big scary legal letter to Stardock and Ironclad requesting that they stop using the word, who then promptly sent a reply politely declining. Which lead Rebellion the studio to file the complaint at the end of June, hoping the courts will force them to knock their shenanigans off.

Of course, protecting trademarks does require that companies be slightly over-zealous or risk losing them, but Rebellion does seem to be getting a bit carried away here.





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