Ubisoft and Electronic Arts are among the biggest game publishers out there, and they’re set to go head to head in a legal battle over the word “Ghost,” as weird as that sounds.
Ubisoft is contesting EA’s trademark of the word Ghost, which was registered in November 2013 in relation to video games. Ubisoft argues that they have a case of prior use of the term dating back as early as 2001, when they released Ghost Recon. EA, meanwhile, owns Ghost Games, which develops titles in the Need for Speed franchise.
Ubisoft, which is set to publish Tom Clancy’s The Division and Far Cry Primal later this year argues that EA’s use of the term may “cause confusion, to cause mistake, or to deceive.”
“Consumers are likely to believe, mistakenly, that the goods and services Applicant [EA] offers under Applicant’s Mark are provided, sponsored, endorsed, or approved by Opposers [Ubisoft], or are in some way affiliated, connected, or associated with Opposers,” states Ubisoft in their argument.
Electronic Arts must post a counterclaim by March 9.
Given that Ubisoft is set to publish Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands within the next year or two, we can see why they’d want to protect their brand. While EA’s claim to the trademark may be unlikely to actually cause any sort of confusion to gamers, Ubisoft’s lawyers are more or less obligated to defend their own trademark. We recall a similar situation with Bethesda and Mojang regarding the word “Scrolls” a few years ago–not that it matters anymore, because Scrolls is dead.