23 January 2020TrademarksEdward Pearcey

Sony strikes down ‘Lord of War’ trademark at UKIPO

Sony has been awarded costs of £1,800 against Beijing Elex Technology after successfully opposing the latter’s 'Lord of War' trademark application, according to a UK Intellectual Property Office decision.

Sony opposed a trademark application for 'Lord of War', arguing there is a “likelihood of confusion, including the likelihood of association” with its 'God of War' existing trademark. “God of War,” released in April 2018, is an action-adventure game published by Sony Interactive Entertainment.

On July 3, 2018, Elex applied to register the 'Lord of War' mark, with the application published for opposition purposes on July 13, 2018. On October 12, 2018, Sony filed a notice of opposition, brought under the 1994 Trade Marks Act, arguing that it relies upon its EU trademark (“EUTM”) number 4329785, for “God of War”.

The 'God of War' trademark entered in the register on April 18, 2006.

Sony claimed that the marks are highly similar, including “having the same literal meaning, and that the services applied for are identical or highly similar to the goods and services of the earlier mark.”

Sony also claimed that use of the contested mark would cause the “public to believe that there is an economic connection between the applicant and the opponent, where no such connection exists”.

This would allow Elex to “ride the coat-tails of the opponent’s power of attraction, reputation and prestige to exploit, without any effort of its own, the marketing efforts of the opponent to create and maintain the image of the earlier mark,” said Sony, claiming it would constitute an unfair advantage.

Elex, founded in 2008, describes itself as China’s “largest social games and internet product distributor”.

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