Rebellion Suing Stardock Over The Word ‘Rebellion’

By Craig Pearson on August 17th, 2012 at 12:19 pm.

Do not construe the raised fist as solidarity. It's part of the logo!
Rebellion are suing Stardock and Ironclad Games over the use of the term “Rebellion”. Ironclad’s standalone expansion pack for their strategy series was called Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion, and the trademark suit claims that the use of the word has “deprived [Rebellion] of substantial sales of its products”. Blimey.

To further their argument, the court document provides a few examples of why Rebellion believe they’ve been hard done by. Exhibit B claims the box art for the game showed the word “Rebellion” was much larger than “Sins of a Solar Empire”, which is true, and that people buying it might believe they are getting a game from the developers of Sniper Elite V2 and Aliens Vs. Predator, which I have a hard time believing.

That claim is supported by the inclusion of a confused comment on a YouTube video: ‘The developers over at “Rebellion” talks to us about what to expect from their newest game. As a tech rebel or a tech loyal, you will get to command legions of warships into a galactic space battle. Check out the video for more’. As well as articles using the word “Rebellion” as shorthand for the game’s full title.

This is trademark law in action. People have to be aggressive in order to retain use of the name. That said, SoaSE’s plot did include an actual rebellion in its story, and describing a thing with an accurate term should probably be afforded some sort of protection. Rebellion are requesting a jury trial to sort it out. I hope it ends civilly, but it already has the smell of a scary fight. All over a word.

I’ve been on a jury – I was terrified and didn’t want to do it, but then when I had to it was oddly fun. I stopped a thing from escalating, but I’m not allowed to talk about it.

Via Gamespot.

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158 Comments »

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  1. fish99 says:

    I think it’s time to admit that humanity has failed.

  2. JamesPatton says:

    Someone should totally start a company named “Redemption”, “Revenge” or just “War”. They’d be able to sue dozens of videogame companies every year for their generic titles.

  3. Olivaw says:

    So basically someone should name their development studio Origins Reckoning Storm Rebellion Studios and then they could sue every other developer ever and make huge fucking bank.

    Be right back, trademarking that shit right now.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Or.. be sued in turn?

      It all depends on who.. shoots sues first!

  4. Universal Quitter says:

    If I was a Rebellion customer, I’d be pissed at them for implying that their customers are stupid to the point of dysfunction.

  5. Chibithor says:

    If there’s a lesson to be learned here it’s that “Rebellion” is not a good word to be used in the title of a game or a developer.

  6. Dreamworkers says:

    http://www.giantbomb.com/search/?q=Rebellion
    Sue them! Sue them all!

  7. TwwIX says:

    I guess, frivolous lawsuits are more profitable to them than the half assed and linear console tripe that they keep releasing.

  8. Laythe_AD says:

    Wow. Who knew Rebellion were such a bunch of c*nts. And to think I used to love my AvP gold.

  9. sinister agent says:

    Here’s hoping for the only resolution of this that is fair and honest and a good thing for humankind: That Stardock are granted the legal right to punch anyone who works for Rebellion in the face, forever. Anything less would be unjust.

  10. Mrs Columbo says:

    From a company that owns Judge Dredd I would have hoped for a more…robust defence of its legal position.

  11. bill says:

    I used to kind of like Rebellion. Sigh.

  12. geldonyetich says:

    Welp, I’m boycotting Rebellion over this. Nice move, lawyers.

  13. RabidOyster says:

    Can Rebellion make a game called Ironclad about the American Civil War’s naval battles, and call it even?