Blizzard challenged on Overwatch trademark

April last year saw Blizzard apply for a new trademark – Overwatch, which was revealed at BlizzCon to be an online multiplayer shooter. Now though, the US Patent and Trademark Office has overturned the application, because it seems another company is already using the name.

Registered by Innovis Labs, the existing Overwatch is, believe it or not, another games-related project. Rather than being an outright video game though, this earlier offering promises to combine high-tech elements of modern FPS with real-world games like laser tag, paintball and airsoft.

An Indiegogo campaign failed to raise the US$50,000 the company said it needed to get the project off the ground, but it’s since released an iOS App that allows paintball / laser tag / airsoft combatants to track their teammates or opponents through GPS Radar, use Bluetooth-enabled voice chat and even utilise certain perks.

The Overwatch forums are pretty quiet right now, and the project’s Twitter account hasn’t been updated since September, but still – if Innovis owns the trademark, Blizzard has to follow the rules.

The USPTO has suspended Blizzard‘s applications and is waiting for Innovis to respond to the claim. The company is in the position to force Blizzard to rebrand, but it could alternatively allow the name to co-exist, or abandon its own real-world combat application.

Blizzard‘s Overwatch heads into beta testing later this year.

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